Rolls-Royce SMR and Sheffield Forgemasters are due to work together on the development of new nuclear technology. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly explore commercial mechanisms for a long-term collaboration on the supply of forgings to the Rolls-Royce UK Small Modular Reactor (SMR) fleet.
“Sheffield Forgemasters are world leaders in complex, safety-critical forgings and castings and we are incredibly fortunate to have their experience to support and enable our SMR programme. This agreement is the start of an enduring partnership and reflects our commitment to the UK supply chain as we look to re-build and re-energise the vital UK nuclear supply chain,” said Tom Samson, Rolls-Royce SMR chief executive.
The project will support the development of SMRs in the UK, with Sheffield Forgemasters able to supply the complex, nuclear-grade demonstrator forgings as part of the regulatory process. These important components will benefit from the decades of experience Sheffield Forgemasters has built up.
“SMR’s have the potential to become the standard for civil nuclear power generation and as an emerging market, fits extremely well with our long track record of supplying nuclear power components into the UK submarine programme,” added David Bond, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters.
“With a new investment fund of £400m to replace our defence critical assets, including the provision of a new 13,000 tonne forging line and 19 state-of-the-art machining centres, we will create much higher levels of manufacturing capability and efficiency, to the benefit of defence nuclear work, but with obvious cross-benefits for civil nuclear activity, including SMR’s.”
The agreement was signed at Nuclear 21, the Nuclear Industry Association’s key industry event, which brings together stakeholders across the nuclear industry. It follows the creation of Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd to bring forward the next generation of low cost, low carbon nuclear power technology.
Sheffield Forgemasters was acquired by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier this year.