| 21 June 2012
Vigilance can report that the MoD this week awarded Rolls Royce a £1.1 billion contract to produce new reactor cores for the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines and upgrade the plant where they will be built.
According to a source at the MoD the nuclear reactor cores will be used to power the seventh and final Astute Class submarine and the first of the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines, known as the Successor Class.
The source said the investment – which secures 300 jobs at Rolls Royce - would also fund an eleven-year refurbishment of Rolls Royce’s plant at Raynesway in Derby, extending its operating lifetime by more than 40 years.
Also, Vigilance learnt that the contract will see construction of new buildings that will replace existing facilities that have reached the end of their useful life.
Replacing the existing infrastructure with state of the art nuclear reactor core production facilities will cost around £500m. A further £600m will be spent on producing new reactor cores for the Astute and Successor Class submarines.
Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond said: “Having balanced the MoD’s books we can now invest in vital strategic capabilities to meet the present and future defence needs of the UK. “This contract will secure hundreds of highly-skilled jobs for UK industry, while retaining our sovereign nuclear capability.”
Secretary Hammond added: “The Raynesway site has played a key part in the production and maintenance of our nuclear deterrent for more than 50 years. This regeneration will make sure it continues to do so for many years to come.”
The MoD’s Director of Submarines, Rear Admiral Simon Lister, said: “I am very pleased that this contract has been signed as it will ensure that our future submarines are powered with the very best reactor cores.”
RA Lister added: “Raynesway is a centre of excellence for nuclear reactor core production and the site works to stringent health and safety practices. The site has an excellent safety record and this investment will make sure that the very highest standards of nuclear and conventional safety continue to be maintained.”