Sheffield Forgemasters signs MOU with Rolls-Royce SMR

Sheffield Forgemasters has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rolls-Royce SMR to jointly explore commercial mechanisms for a long-term collaboration on the supply of forgings to the Rolls-Royce UK Small Modular Reactor (SMR) fleet.

The project directly supports the UK’s civil nuclear renaissance and the development of SMRs in the UK, with Sheffield Forgemasters able to supply the complex, nuclear-grade demonstrator forgings as part of the regulatory process.

These important components will benefit from the decades of experience Sheffield Forgemasters has built up and its world-class delivery experience.

Tom Samson, Rolls-Royce SMR’s CEO, said: “Sheffield Forgemasters are world leaders in complex, safety-critical forgings and castings and we are incredibly fortunate to have their experience to support and enable our SMR programme. This agreement is the start of an enduring partnership and reflects our commitment to the UK supply chain as we look to rebuild and re-energise the vital UK nuclear supply chain.”

The agreement was signed at Nuclear 21, the Nuclear Industry Association’s key industry event, which brings together stakeholders across the nuclear industry. It follows the creation of Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd which has been established to bring forward and deliver the next generation of low cost, low carbon nuclear power technology.

David Bond, Chief Executive Officer at Sheffield Forgemasters, 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 grade components.

“With a new investment fund of £400m to replace our defence critical assets, including the provision of a new 13,000 tonne forging line and 19 state-of-the-art machining centres, we will create much higher levels of manufacturing capability and efficiency, to the benefit of defence work, but with obvious cross-benefits for civil nuclear activity, including SMR’s.

“Rolls-Royce SMR 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 commercial SMR build programme.”

David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters' CEO (left) and Tom Samson, Rolls-Royce SMR’s CEO (right)

The Rolls Royce SMR is based on proven nuclear technology, delivered in an innovative way, using offsite, factory-built, modular assembly, removing construction complexity. This repeatable, standardised approach makes nuclear affordable, deliverable, scalable, global and investable.

When fully operational the Rolls-Royce SMR programme will create 40,000 UK jobs primarily across the North and Midlands where the majority of UK nuclear expertise is located, with the potential for £52bn in economic benefits from export.