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Forgemasters engineers innovative nuclear power component

03 September 2008

Cast stainless steel pump casings made by Sheffield Forgemasters for the new wave of nuclear power plants in China will be rolled out across the world.

The 16-tonne reactor coolant pump castings, which can be manufactured efficiently and economically, will first see service on China's new-wave of Westinghouse AP1000TM nuclear power plants at Sanmen in Zhejiang province and Haiyang in Shandong province. They will also feature on all future AP1000TM plants globally.

SFIL worked with Curtiss-Wright EMD in the details of the development of the casing, and has now been commissioned by the company to produce 18 of the stage-one pump casings because of its expertise in casting manufacture and materials development.

Shaun Gray, senior sales manager at SFIL's Engineering division, said: "What we have achieved with the AP1000 project is a first for SFIL the production of cast safety critical pump casings which will be incorporated into the main reactor system.

"The process of manufacturing the reactor coolant pump casings is very refined and the AP1000 castings have taken substantial input from our technical director Ian Nicholls and his team design teams to produce what are really quite complex structures in terms of mechanical and metallurgical requirements.

"This project is highly specific and has required technically demanding methods compared to traditional methods of manufacture.

"These pumps are structurally integral to the reactor and have many stresses placed on them aside from those created by pumping pressurised coolant at a rate of 65 to 95 thousand gallons per minute."