COPELAND MP Trudy Harrison has said a new agreement between Rolls Royce and Cavendish Nuclear is ‘excellent news’ for Copeland.

The agreement between the companies will look at how they can work together on small modular nuclear reactors in the future, which would generate new forms of nuclear power that it is hoped could power up to a million homes.

Many in the area hope that one possible site for the reactor would be Moorside, near Sellafield, due to discussions that have been carried out over the past year.

Under the commitment, Cavendish Nuclear will perform in the design, licensing, manufacturing and delivery aspects of the Rolls-Royce factory-fabricated small modular nuclear power plant.

Trudy Harrison told of her hopes for the companies to choose to build the reactors in Copeland.

She said: “It’s no secret that I want Rolls-Royce to develop their first demonstrator Small Module Reactor power station at Sellafield.

“We know more about nuclear power than anywhere else in Europe and we have an industrial power recruitment. We also have a local council which understands the planning requirements more than any other.

“The Government has committed hundreds of millions to the SMR development already and every step towards a siting decision is very good news for skills, jobs, manufacturing, clean energy, UK energy security and export potential.

“I’m in no doubt this is fantastic news for Copeland and stand firm on my commitment to secure a strong nuclear future.”

She also believed the deal would expand on the already strong nuclear expertise that the community already holds.

She said:“We have globally recognised companies in West Cumbria and locally grown precision engineering expertise. This collaboration between Cavendish Nuclear and the UKSMR consortium builds on our knowledge and galvanises our prominent position.”

Copeland's deputy mayor David Moore also welcomed the news, saying: “That’s good news because Rolls Royce are the developers of the process, they have got the technical expertise but they never saw themselves as the developer, if you like. They're the technology side, so a partnership with Cavendish will bring another partner into that which will improve the opportunity of getting the reactors developed quickly."