Westinghouse Electric Company has announced that it is working with the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to explore the most effective way to manufacture Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) in the U.K.
The manufacturing study will focus on 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 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 U.K. Small Modular Reactors,’ said Mike Tynan, chief executive officer, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
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 U.K.’s strong nuclear supply chain and Westinghouse’s commitment to SMR technology would promote economic growth and job creation in the U.K.’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, New Plants and Major Projects. ‘The efficient construction of Westinghouse Small Modular Reactors can play an important part of the U.K.’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 U.K. Government to deploy Westinghouse’s Small Modular Reactor 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 U.K. employing over 1,000, recently achieved the requirements necessary to manufacture Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR) fuel in the U.K., something that no other SMR technology provider currently offers.