Rolls-Royce Build Nuclear Reactors?

By TomPeacock | footprints | February 9, 2012

Four months into the job and I still proudly puff up my chest and tell whoever will listen, “I’m a nucleargraduate working for Rolls-Royce.”

Invariably the response goes something along the lines of, “So you build cars then?”

No, Rolls-Royce has not built cars since 1973. These days Rolls-Royce is a global power systems company and the business unit I work in, and am sponsored by on nucleargraduates, designs and builds all the nuclear reactors in the Royal Navy’s fleet of submarines.

So why am I so proud to work for a company where most members of the public don’t even realise what we do?

I guess it’s because what we do really does matter.  It is the nuclear reactor which makes the modern submarine the most potent weapons platform at sea, allowing them to stay submerged and undetected for months on end. The lives of every submariner onboard are dependant upon the safe operation of the reactor, and the strategic requirements of the UK are dependant upon an operational fleet of nuclear submarines.  Our fleet of submarines carries the nation’s nuclear deterrent, can conduct anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, provides a reassuring peace time presence, performs covert operations and undertakes embargo and anti-piracy operations.  The nuclear reactor aboard nuclear submarines makes all of this possible. For the safety of the crew and the guaranteed availability of our submarines when needed, their reactors need to be designed, built and maintained to the highest degree of engineering standards, and truly are at the cutting edge of modern technology.

Rolls-Royce is the company that delivers this requirement, having been at the forefront of naval reactor technology for the past half century and continuing to push forward the boundaries of science and engineering on work vital to the UK’s national interests.

I guess this is why I’m proud to say I’m a nucleargraduate working for Rolls-Royce Defence.

HMS Vanguard, one of four of her class, carries the UK's nuclear deterrent.

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