GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and UK-based Sheffield Forgemasters have agreed to cooperate in support of the potential deployment of the GEH’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) in the UK. GEH and Sheffield Forgemasters agreed to discuss how the existing and future capabilities of Sheffield Forgemasters could help meet the potential demands of BWRX-300 deployment.

“As the UK government aims to expand nuclear power capacity to 25% of the nation’s electricity needs, we are pleased to be working with an industry leader like Sheffield Forgemasters to discuss a potential supply agreement for forgings in support of the deployment of BWRX-300 SMRs,” said Sean Sexstone, Executive Vice President, Advanced Nuclear, GEH. “We will also look at how Sheffield Forgemasters’ unique capabilities can help meet the growing global interest in the BWRX-300.”

David Bond, CEO of Sheffield Forgemasters said: “SMRs have the potential to become a standard for civil nuclear power generation and as an emerging technology, our long track record of supplying nuclear grade components brings a wealth of technical forging experience to the market. “Sheffield Forgemasters is undergoing a transformation to Industry 4.0 manufacturing technologies, the centre-piece of which is our investment of up to GBP400m ($465m) over ten10 years, to replace the company’s defence-critical assets. We look forward to working with GEH to explore the possibilities of becoming a UK supply chain partner in the delivery of complex nuclear grade forgings into the commercial BWRX-300 SMR build programme.”

GEH said the BWRX-300 has been designed to achieve construction and operating costs that are substantially lower than traditional nuclear power generation technologies. Specifically, the BWRX-300 leverages a unique combination of a new, patented safety breakthrough, proven components, the licensing basis of the US NRC-certified ESBWR and an existing, licensed fuel design. This unique combination positions GEH to deliver an innovative, carbon-free baseload power generation source this decade. 

The announcement follows Rolls-Royce SMR signing a GBP3.7m contract with Sheffield Forgemasters in December 2021 to enable the first development forgings to be manufactured to support the deployment of Rolls-Royce SMRs.

Photo courtesy of Sheffield Forgemasters