US-based NuScale Power and the US Reactor Forging Consortium (RFC) have announced that they have signed a Collaboration Agreement. The deal is set to leverage the existing US forging supply chain to prepare NuScale to deploy its small modular reactor (SMR) technology to customers worldwide and to support US manufacturing jobs.
RFC comprises North American Forgemasters (NAF), Scot Forge, and ATI Forged Products. The three companies combined act as the only fully integrated manufacturer of large alloy and stainless steel open die, seamless rolled ring, and large uniquely-shaped forgings (heads with integral nozzles) in the Western Hemisphere with as-forged piece weights exceeding 160 tons, NuScale said.
Under the Collaboration Agreement, the RFC and NuScale will cooperate in design for manufacturability reviews for forged geometries to reduce welding, chemical composition tailoring and optimised configuration for fabrication. The collaboration will support US supply chain planning as NuScale approaches near-term commercialisation of the NuScale Power Modules (NPM).
The Collaboration Agreement supports the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) report released earlier this year, “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition,” designed to retain and develop US jobs through the exploration of mutually beneficial domestic business relationships. This includes, but is not limited to, US and State Government grants and funding opportunities, development of RFC member company capabilities and capacities, and other US manufacturing opportunities.
Consortium member NAF is currently partnering with Pennsylvania-based Centre for Advanced Nuclear Manufacturing, operated by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), on a full production size shell research project that will focus on the use of austenitic stainless steel for reactor and containment vessels in SMRs and advanced reactors. With finance in part through a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Economic Development, NAF in collaboration with its joint venture owners Scot Forge and ELLWOOD Group, will perform melting, forging, heat treating, rough machining, mechanical testing, and non-destructive testing while CTC oversees the development and performs independent technical evaluations of the forged material. This partnership will serve to create jobs by establishing a supply chain in Pennsylvania and ultimately benefit the overall development of SMRs and advanced reactor deployment.
NuScale Power and Spring Valley Acquisition Corp, recently announced that steel company Nucor Corporation had committed to a $15 million private investment in public equity to support the NuScale-Spring Valley business combination, increasing the total commitment for this transaction to $236 million.