The Nuclear AMRC is to work with Westinghouse Electric Company to explore the most effective way to manufacture reactor pressure vessels for Westinghouse’s small modular reactor in the UK.
The manufacturing study will focus on reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) – one of the largest and most demanding parts of any reactor. The Nuclear AMRC will provide a professional, independent assessment of the current Westinghouse small modular reactor (SMR) RPV design, and determine an optimal manufacturing solution. Nuclear AMRC has extensive experience in design for the manufacture of large complex parts for safety-critical applications, drawing on broad academic and industry knowledge.
“Innovative and advanced manufacturing techniques are fundamental to the cost-effective production of UK small modular reactors,” said Mike Tynan, chief executive officer, Nuclear AMRC.
A key component of the manufacturing study will be identifying efficiencies within the advanced manufacturing process to significantly reduce capital costs and drive project savings. These savings, coupled with the UK’s strong nuclear supply chain and Westinghouse’s commitment to SMR technology, would promote economic growth and job creation in the UK’s nuclear industry. The study will utilise expert knowledge of local manufacturing capabilities to identify potential suppliers for when the Westinghouse SMR enters production.
“The Westinghouse small modular reactor is innovative and industry-leading technology that builds upon our extensive reactor and fuel technology expertise,” said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president for new plants and major projects. “The efficient construction of Westinghouse small modular reactors can play an important part of the UK’s future by creating local manufacturing jobs to develop safe, clean and economical energy.”
The announcement of the manufacturing study further signals Westinghouse’s commitment to SMR technology in the U.K. In 2015, Westinghouse bid to partner with the UK government to deploy Westinghouse’s SMR technology – a move that would advance the U.K. from buyer to global provider of the latest nuclear energy technology. Westinghouse’s Springfields facility, a strategic national asset in the UK employing over 1,000, recently achieved the requirements necessary to manufacture Westinghouse SMR fuel in the UK, something that no other SMR technology provider currently offers.