GE Hitachi discusses SMR opportunities with UK suppliers

By 21 March 2024 Industry news

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy met with around 150 potential suppliers from across the UK to discuss opportunities associated with the UK deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor, at an event hosted and managed by the Nuclear AMRC.

GE Hitachi, the nuclear business of GE Vernova, proposes to deploy its BWRX-300 SMR in the UK and Europe. The BWRX-300 is currently being considered by Great British Nuclear for UK deployment, and has entered the Generic Design Assessment process with support from the government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.

“Our BWRX-300 SMR technology is an ideal solution for meeting the UK’s decarbonization and energy security goals,” said Sean Sexstone, executive vice president for advanced nuclear at GE Hitachi. “It is based on tried, tested and reliable technology, and partners in Canada, the US and Poland are already investing in our technology. We believe this makes our reactor the lowest risk and highest reward choice for Great British Nuclear. We have assembled a first-class team to deliver the BWRX-300 in the UK and we look forward to working with the local companies who have attended today’s conference as we continue to develop a robust UK supply chain.”

Around 150 UK-based businesses covering all elements of the nuclear supply chain – from manufacturing, construction and engineering – participated in the all-day conference. The event included presentations on the BWRX-300, how deployment can help contribute to the government’s target of 24 GW of new nuclear capacity by 2050, associated supply chain opportunities and the benefits of supply chain localisation.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy supply chain event hosted by the Nuclear AMRC

“We’re delighted to bring together the UK’s nuclear manufacturers with GE Hitachi to discuss the opportunities around the BWRX-300 and help launch supply chain engagement for this nationally important programme,” said Andrew Storer, CEO of the Nuclear AMRC. “An SMR programme in the UK will present huge opportunities for the domestic supply chain, and information-sharing and networking event like this are an essential first step to maximizing UK content and making the most of the economic benefits of investment in low-carbon power.”

Guest speakers included South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard. “In South Yorkshire, we are determined to be at the heart of the next energy revolution. Not simply because we’re building on our history at the heart of the first and second industrial revolutions, but because our wealth of talent, creativity and innovation will put us at the centre of the coming industrial and green economy revolutions,” he said.


There is significant global interest in the BWRX-300. In Canada, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has partnered with GE Hitachi to deliver up to four BWRX-300s at its Darlington site, along with AtkinsRéalis and Aecon Construction Group. The Province of Ontario is working with OPG on planning and licensing for three additional BWRX-300s at the Darlington site.

GE has a long and deep history in the UK, with a presence dating back 130 years. GE’s energy businesses employ more than 2,500 people at 11 sites across the country, with approximately 35 per cent of the country’s electricity currently powered by its technology.