Sheffield Forgemasters partners GE Hitachi on SMR development

Published: 8 September 2022

Sheffield Forgemasters has partnered with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) in support of the potential deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) in the U.K.

A memorandum of understanding between Sheffield Forgemasters and GEH agrees to discuss how our existing and future capabilities could help meet the potential demands of BWRX-300 deployment.

Sean Sexstone, Executive Vice President, Advanced Nuclear, GEH, said: “As the U.K. government aims to expand nuclear power capacity to 25 percent 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.

“We will also look at how Sheffield Forgemasters’ unique capabilities can help meet the growing global interest in the BWRX-300.”

Sheffield Forgemasters partners GE Hitachi on SMR development article image

“David Bond, CEO at 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 £400m over ten 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.”

Advanced nuclear technologies like the BWRX-300 are a key pillar of GE’s energy transition leadership. In addition to helping customers achieve carbon-emission goals, the BWRX-300 has been designed to achieve construction and operating costs that are substantially lower than traditional nuclear power generation technologies.

The announcement follows Rolls-Royce SMR signing a £3.7m contract with Sheffield Forgemasters to enable the first development forgings to be manufactured to support the deployment of Rolls-Royce SMRs.