Energy firm Holtec Britain has whittled down the list of potential sites for a £1.3 billion ($1.66bn) small modular reactor factory to four locations.

From an initial 14 candidate sites, Holtec has shortlisted Tees Valley, the West Midlands, Cumbria, and South Yorkshire.

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– NuScale

The site is expected to produce two to four reactors per year from early 2030, each worth £1-2 billion ($1.27bn-$2.55bn).

"We're at the forefront of clean energy technology across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool – and this shortlisting shows how we're truly the capital of growth for small modular reactor technology," Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said.

"The potential for another 400 highly skilled well-paid jobs for local people is another huge boost."

Another 3,600 jobs are expected during the construction period.

Around 16 SMRs are planned to be installed in the UK, followed by more deployments across Europe and the Middle East.

Data centers are eying SMRs and microreactors as potential power sources for facilities in an increasingly grid-constrained world. Equinix this year signed a deal to procure up to 500MW of nuclear power from Oklo reactors, while Wyoming Hyperscale has signed for up to 100MW.

Microsoft hired several nuclear technologists for its own SMR strategy, while Schneider Electric has partnered with nuclear company Terrestrial Energy to commercialize small reactors.