Engineering giant Rolls-Royce has signed a £3.7m contract with Sheffield Forgemasters to develop crucial parts for its small nuclear reactors (SMRs)
The contract for forgings is part of Rolls-Royce SMR’s work to achieve regulatory approval and will allow both companies to understand and develop manufacturing procedures and techniques, with a view to accelerating the important first production of the components.
The contract award has come through funding for the project from the UK Research and Innovation. Rolls-Royce said the nuclear project strengthens the delivery of the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, as well as boosting its long-term export opportunities.
Matthew Blake, Rolls-Royce SMR’s chief engineer, said: “Sheffield Forgemasters are world leaders in forgings and castings, and we are incredibly fortunate to have their experience to support
our SMR programme. This contract enables us to work in parallel, testing manufacturing processes and procedures while developing the technology, which will allow us to move at pace when we reach the deployment stage.
“We are committed to delivering the SMR fleet with a focus on maximising the UK’s supply chain and this significant contract is just the start as we look to reenergise the vital UK nuclear supply chain.”
Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor, which is majority-owned by the engineering giant, has been set up to develop sites that are around a tenth of the size of traditional reactors.
The project is “fully funded” after receiving almost £500m of investment, including £85m from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund announced yesterday.
David Bond, CEO of Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “These forgings will be integral to the overall evaluation of routes to manufacture for the Rolls-Royce SMR programme. The forgings will require highly detailed simulation work and analysis from our RD&T team to deliver components which will meet exacting nuclear-grade standards.
“We are very excited to be working with Rolls-Royce SMR on the first deliverables for this project.”