The UK's Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has signed an agreement to work with US-based reactor developer NuScale on its 50 MW small modular reactor.
The agreement opens the way for potential collaboration in the development and manufacture of NuScale technology, said Nuclear AMRC, part of the University of Sheffield.
The centre's research factory and its capabilities in areas such as electron beam welding, diode laser cladding and very large high-precision machining could help develop the reactor design and reduce costs in production.
"Given the UK's engineering and skills base, working with British organisations is vitally important for NuScale as we move towards our first commercial power station," said Jose Reyes, NuScale's chief technology officer.
The NuScale SMR, officially named the NuScale Power Module, would be factory made and shipped for deployment in sets of up to 12 units per site. The containment vessel and reactor system is just 25 m long and 5 m in diameter, and will be equipped with passive safety systems. NuScale, which is owned by Fluor, is being supported by $217 million in funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the design.
Reyes also announced details of the new internship programme with the University of Sheffield that will allow up to five Sheffield students to spend a summer at the company's operational facilities in Corvallis, Oregon, and at Oregon State University. The programme will begin in summer 2015.
Photo: NuScale's Jose Reyes signed the collaboration agreement with Nuclear AMRC chief executive Mike Tynan on 19 November.