Monday, January 16, 2017

News: Nuclear AMRC to support Rolls-Royce SMR development

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The Nuclear AMRC continues to work with Rolls-Royce and its industry partners to bring its proposed small modular reactor (SMR) to market in the UK.

SMRs promise to be much more affordable in the UK than the large scale reactors planned for projects like Hinkley Point C, which has struggled to secure investors and has strike prices inflated by the expense of financing the multi billion pound project.

The Government has pledged funds to develop SMRs in the UK and the Nuclear AMRC is working with the principal technology vendors in support of their drive for a UK small modular reactor and with companies across the UK to help them seize existing opportunities and be ready for the potential of technologies.

Rolls-Royce is working with Amec Foster Wheeler, Nuvia, Arup and other companies in its bid. Rolls-Royce is a lead member for the Nuclear AMRC and has called on its expertise to carry out desktop studies on potential methods of manufacture its new SMR design, and carry out an assessment of the UK supply chain's capabilities to make the reactor to the required standards.

With state of the art facilities on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the £25m Nuclear AMRC is a joint initiative with industry, The University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute, and is designed to help build and enhance the UK's civil nuclear new build industry.

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A statement released by Rolls-Royce said: "We are working with some of Britain's most experienced civil engineering companies and nuclear research organisations to realise the huge potential of small modular reactors for the wider UK economy. We share a common belief that a home-grown SMR program can play a key role in strengthening the UK's energy mix and security, while creating valuable intellectual property, exports and jobs.

"We are working together to deliver a whole power plant which could be up and running in just over a decade and provide a boost for the UK's industrial strategy."

Rolls-Royce acquired land on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham for manufacturing facilities. The £110m Advanced Blade Casting Facility is operational but approved plans for a manufacturing facility for large scale nuclear components stalled as the interest in new large scale nuclear power stations cooled.

The firm has said that SMRs could be made in centralised manufacturing facilities and then transported to anywhere in the country or overseas, producing benefits of scale which would drive down costs. Rolls-Royce is developing a patented modular concept which is designed specifically for factory manufacture and commissioning, speed of installation and reduced onsite construction work.

Westinghouse is also developing designs for SMRs and Nuclear AMRC engineers are working with the US firm and modular construction specialists from Cammell Laird on a new advanced manufacturing study. It follows an earlier study by the Nuclear AMRC for Westinghouse that showed that the UK has the advanced manufacturing capabilities to effectively manufacture critical systems for SMRs.

Last year, NuScale Power, an American company pioneering small scale nuclear reactors, announced a new partnership with Sheffield Forgemasters to develop manufacturing techniques for SMRs. Forgemasters is a founder member of the Nuclear AMRC and NuScale signed an agreement to work with the centre in 2014.

Rolls-Royce website
Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Rolls-Royce


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