Sheffield Forgemasters hosts Ministerial visit

Sheffield Forgemasters played host to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as he announced a new civil nuclear funding package.

Kwasi Kwarteng had first-hand look at our capabilities in the manufacture of large nuclear castings and forgings, immediately after announcing £210 million of government funding for Rolls-Royce SMR at Sheffield’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

The funding backs Rolls-Royce SMR’s £450 million project to develop the country's first Small Modular (nuclear) Reactor (SMR), a sector which Sheffield Forgemasters is positioned to be a key supplier into and which could significantly contribute to the country’s need for zero carbon power.

Mr Kwarteng said: “Visiting Sheffield Forgemasters underpins what exceptional engineering skills the UK has and it was fantastic to meet the hardworking and dedicated workforce there – the very best of British manufacturing in action.

“Sheffield Forgemasters is already a pioneer in the development of SMR technologies and establishing routes to manufacture for those reactors, which have the potential to provide more home-grown, low carbon and affordable energy for British households and businesses.”

The Business Secretary was joined by seniors from Rolls-Royce SMR on the visit.

David Bond, CEO, said: “SMR's have the potential to become the standard for civil nuclear power generation and as an emerging market, fits extremely well with our long track record of supplying nuclear power components into the UK submarine programme.

“In principle, SMR's will be faster to build and commission, and because of their size and relative portability, they can be factory manufactured and shipped to site. They will produce cost-competitive power and offer a solution which can be scaled to meet energy demands.

“Rolls-Royce is advancing plans for factory assembled SMR’s in the UK and Sheffield Forgemasters is well positioned to be a UK supply chain partner in the delivery of complex, finished and semi-finished nuclear grade components into the SMR build programme.”

Sheffield Forgemasters is seeking revenue diversification opportunities in the emerging clean energy sector in support of the UK Government's zero carbon goal. This includes the renewable energy sector and early involvement in nascent civil nuclear fusion developments, and fission reactors such as SMR’s and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR’s).

Tom Samson, Chief Executive at Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “We have been working in close partnership with Sheffield Forgemasters for some time to establish best routes to manufacture for our SMR reactors. The company is a unique capability within the UK as a domestic supplier of key components which will be required to build these new power plants.”

The new Government funding will enable SMR technology to take the next steps through Britain's regulatory process.