Holtec Britain Teams With Sheffield Forgemasters For SMR-160

Britain’s Sheffield Forgemasters has signed an MOU to collaborate with Holtec Britain on the development of components for its scaled-down SMR-160 reactor.

Holtec SMR-160 modelFollowing similar agreements signed with three other nuclear power companies, the MOU with Holtec will see Sheffield Forgemasters develop the design of Holtec’s SMR-160 components to identify the best routes to manufacture.

SMR power plants are seen as a revolutionary development in the civil nuclear (fission) market, and are designed at much smaller scale than commonly commissioned ultra-large (1000+Mwe) reactors and are therefore scalable, depending on energy needs.

Factory-built reactors to be assembled in the field with capacities of under 300 MWe is in development around the globe, seen as a versatile alternative to the larger models that dominate the nuclear energy sector. The aim for the smaller reactors is either to combine small reactors to create substantial outputs or deploy just one or two units to provide heat or electricity for remote locations, for isolated populations or industrial sites, such as mines.

Sheffield Foregemasters said the latest MOU positions the company at the apex of the UK’s manufacturing supply chain for the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) market and builds on its long history of supplying components into civil nuclear projects across the globe.

“This MOU complements a broader body of work that we are undertaking for the UK’s future civil nuclear programme, with Small Modular Reactors (SMR’s) as a key element, alongside larger nuclear power plants and the real possibility of fusion power,” said Dominic Ashmore, Head of Strategy and Business Development – Clean Energy at Sheffield Forgemasters.

“We’ll work with Holtec to jointly develop the design for manufacture and purchase specifications for specific forgings, with specific attention on providing components which reduce the required machining, assembly, welding, and in-service inspection requirements for those components.”

“Holtec is seeking to deploy a fleet of SMR-160 plants in the UK to supply nine million homes,” said Dr. Rick Springman, Senior Vice President of International Projects and Executive Committee member at Holtec.

The modular nature of SMRs also carries expectations that they can be faster and cheaper to deploy, faster to decommission, while offering enhanced safety features.  

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