Sheffield Forgemasters to collaborate with Holtec on SMR-160

16 February 2023

UK-based Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Holtec Britain to design components for Holtec’s SMR-160 small modular reactor (SMR) and identify the best routes to manufacture.

The MOU is the latest in a series of similar agreements with other SMR developers. In July 2016, SFI and NuScale Power agreed to co-operate to develop the manufacturing techniques needed for the planned deployment of NuScale's SMR in the UK. Another MOU was signed in December 2021 with Rolls-Royce SMR to jointly explore commercial mechanisms for long-term collaboration on the supply of forgings to Rolls-Royce’s planned UK SMR fleet. In September 2022 SFI signed an MOU with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to support of the potential deployment of the BWRX-300 SMR in the UK.

SFI Head of Strategy & Business Development for Clean Energy Dominic Ashmore said the latest MOU “complements a broader body of work that we are undertaking for the UK’s future civil nuclear programme” including SMRs, larger NPPs and fusion power. “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,” he added.

Holtec plans to deploy a 5 GWe fleet of SMR-160s in the UK by 2050, with first operations planned for the early 2030s. "We are delighted to partner with Sheffield Forgemasters to further manufacturing routes for key forgings required for this project," said Rick Springman, Senior Vice President of International Projects and Executive Committee member at Holtec.

In December 2022, Holtec Britain applied to join UK process for Generic Design Assessment for its SMR-160 in 2023. Holtec also in November submitted an application to the UK Government’s Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for funding support towards the regulatory design assessment.

Image: Artist's impression of how a SMR-160 plant could look (courtesy of Holtec)

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