Westinghouse To Study SMR Pressure Vessel Manufacturing In Britain

Westinghouse Electric Company said Thursday that it would study manufacturing and supply options in Britain for development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) with help from the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (Nuclear AMRC), an industrial group with ties to the world of academics.

Westinghouse logoThe British government has already announced it would support SMR research with a five-year, $375 million spending plan that would aim to identify the most efficient SMR manufacturing plan for Britain. This coincided with a Westinghouse proposal from October 2015 in which the company offered to work with the British government to create a SMR manufacturing base in Britain that could create jobs and supply modular reactors across Europe.

Westinghouse pressed the issue Thursday, releasing a statement that said the study of manufacturing options would focus on reactor pressure vessels (RPV), which it called “one of the largest and most demanding parts of any reactor." In effect, if manufacturing cost-effective RPV components could be accomplished, then a major hurdle towards commercial production would be realized.

“The Nuclear AMRC will provide a professional, independent assessment of the current Westinghouse SMR Reactor 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,” Westinghouse said.

The company's SMR design calls for a 225 MWe integral pressurized water reactor that draws in passive safety technology that is a feature of the company's AP1000 reactor design.

In Britain, however, the race for going commercial with an SMR design is “game on.” Nu-Scale said in October 2015 that it was looking for partners in Britain to bring forward its SMR design. Westinghouse, in turn, said that its Springfields processing plant in Britain had recently developed the capability of manufacturing SMR fuel.

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  • Anonymous

    We in San Diego failed....bad.!

    Good luck in the UK...!

    Someone, somewhere, needs to get this started.

    It will be Hugh, very large, soon.

    Money to be made.!

    Vern Cornell