Rolls-Royce Considers Quantum Computing to Boost Nuclear Safety

Rolls-Royce is thinking of using quantum computing to operate nuclear plants remotely and improve nuclear energy safety. The manufacturer is looking to develop small, autonomous nuclear reactors via the Quantum Technology Access Programme (QTAP). These reactors could potentially function in remote mining colonies on Earth, the moon, and even Mars safely and remotely.

Rolls-Royce used data from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident to determine if it could feasibly use a quantum machine-learning model to swiftly identify potentially deadly situations. The quantum computing-based learning model would allow operators to shut down as soon as potential issues arise with little to zero physical human involvement.

Rolls-Royce has access to Orca Computing and Riverlane experts as well as quantum computing through the Quantum Technology Access Program. The program’s goal is to help companies with quantum technology-based novel design trials illustrate how quantum technology can change key parts of the United Kingdom’s economy.

Jonathon Adams, an assistant engineer at Rolls-Royce, said the company’s novel nuclear team is focused on the future and plans to create “revolutionary new technologies” and search for different energy-efficient nuclear power applications both on Earth and in space. He noted that quantum technologies such as quantum computing will help Rolls-Royce achieve this goal during the next decade and a half.

Consequently, Adams said that it was important for the automaker to gain an intimate understanding of how and when it can incorporate quantum technology into its processes. Adams added that the Quantum Technology Access Program was a “timely” boost to its future-focused plans.

Several other organizations are also working with the program to find potential applications for quantum computing-based optimization. Organizations such as the Port of Dover, Airbus and Arup are currently involved in the program while AI-powered platform Bahut and DNV Services UK recently used the Orca PT-1 quantum computer to test optimization applications during a demo day.

Data science company SeerBI was also present on demo day and demonstrated a quantum-machine learning model that could predict shipments at risk of late arrival. According to SeerBI CEO Owain Brennan, the QTAP program has been invaluable for the company’s quantum-computing team. Brennan says team members got the chance to interact with next-generation technology they weren’t even aware of before the start of the program and learn new skills.

Furthermore, he notes that applying quantum technology to on-time delivery and general logistics helped the team find alternative ways of approaching problems.

Rolls Royce’s plan to leverage quantum computing in a bid to make nuclear energy plants safer adds to the different use cases of quantum computing that several entities such as D-Wave Quantum Computing Inc. (NYSE: QBTS) are bringing to market to address the needs of clients in different sectors.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to D-Wave Quantum Inc. (NYSE: QBTS) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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