Sheffield Forgemasters and NuScale collaborate on SMRs

08 July 2016

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) and NuScale have announced they will work together to develop the manufacturing techniques required for the future deployment of small modular reactors in the UK.

SFIL will forge a large civil nuclear reactor vessel head by the end of 2017, as part of a program supported by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, to develop and validate innovative forging and fabrication solutions for the nuclear industry. NuScale Power said it is providing funding to support the use of the geometries required by its innovative SMR design.

NuScale module (NuScale) 122x460
A NuScale Module (Image: NuScale)

Tom Mundy, NuScale Power's managing director for the UK and Europe said: "Our vision of seeing the NuScale SMR deployed in, and exported from, the UK can and will only be achieved in partnership with Britain's renowned engineering and industrial base. Sheffield Forgemasters' skill, expertise and heritage is known the world over. Working together now is, I hope, the starting point of a lasting relationship that will ultimately see UK-manufactured SMRs generating clean reliable power for the UK grid by the 2020s."

Graham Honeyman, SFIL Chief Executive, added: "Small Modular Reactors could revolutionise the civil nuclear power industry, by creating more flexible power generation solutions. The efficient factory manufacture of major components will be crucial to seeing them deployed cost-effectively and Sheffield Forgemasters has an unparalleled track record in the production of civil nuclear forgings of this size."

NuScale Power will be holding a Supplier Day at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield on 13 July aimed at giving UK-based engineering, manufacturing and construction companies the opportunity to learn about the company's program of work.

NuScale is also participating in the UK government's competition to choose the best value SMR, aimed at seeing SMRs deployed in the UK in the 2020s.

In the USA, NuScale says it is "at an advanced stage" of development compared to its nearest competitors. NuScale is the only SMR developer to be currently receiving US Department of Energy match funding ($217 million over five years), the only SMR developer to be close to submitting a Design Certification Application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission - which NuScale says will happen later this year - and it has "multiple active customer deployment projects under way". The first NuScale facility is planned to be in operation in 2024 in the state of Idaho.

The announcement with SFIL builds on an Innovate UK Energy Catalyst project designed to develop innovative forging and fabrication solutions for the nuclear industry. The project budget is £4 million, running over 2.5 years from June 2015 to Dec 2017. It is led by SFIL and has five contributing partners - Rolls Royce Plc, The Welding Institute, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. NuScale Power will be an observer in the project and is providing additional funding to support the use of its reactor vessel head geometry for the demonstration forging.

Catalysts are run jointly by Innovate UK and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding which focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News