Rolls-Royce signs £ 3.7 million contract to deliver a “huge” nuclear project and cut energy prices | Science | Messages

The contract will be handed over to Sheffield Forgemasters and will be part of the development of commercial Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in the UK.

Rolls-Royce is developing SMRs to produce enough nuclear power to power a million households, a city about the size of Leeds, but the size of the products only about two soccer fields.

The innovation is expected to be integrated into the UK’s energy grid by 2030 as part of the battle for decarbonization, and there is also hope that there is significant export potential for these products as well.

The new deal is part of Rolls-Royce SMR’s efforts to obtain regulatory approval.

It will enable both parties to understand and develop manufacturing processes and techniques to reduce risk and accelerate the critical initial production of the vital components of SMRs.

Sheffield Forgemasters is the only UK company that can manufacture these significant forgings that are needed to make the SMRs.

The company has decades of experience and ability to deliver in this area.

The contract marks the first major supply chain materials deal as a result of the upcoming UK grant funding for Research and Innovation (UKRI) provided through the Low Cost Nuclear Challenge and private capital to form the Rolls-Royce SMR business.

The Low Cost Nuclear Challenge is part of an effort to help the UK meet its net zero commitment by creating new sources of low carbon energy through the development of SMRs.

The investments in Rolls-Royce SMR and the new contract are intended to strengthen the prime minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

Matthew Blake, Rolls-Royce SMR Chief Engineer, commented, “Sheffield Forgemasters are global leaders in forged and cast parts and we are incredibly lucky to be able to support their experience
our SMR program.

“This contract allows us to work in parallel and test manufacturing processes and procedures as we develop the technology, which allows us to move with the pace once we reach the deployment phase.

“We aim to provide the SMR fleet with a focus on
Maximizing the UK supply chain and this major contract is just the beginning of re-energizing the vital UK nuclear supply chain. “

David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters CEO, said, “These forgings will be an integral part of the overall manufacturing route evaluation for the Rolls-Royce SMR program.

“The forgings will require very detailed simulation and analysis from our RD&T team in order to deliver components that meet the exacting standards for nuclear applications.

“We are very excited to be working with Rolls-Royce SMR on the first results for this project.”

Nuclear power is credited with a vital role in providing reliable, affordable and low carbon energy as the UK seeks to meet Mr Johnson’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

While large projects for traditional nuclear power plants like Hinkley Point C are costly and take a long time to complete, SMRs are cheaper to build and, due to their smaller size, less intrusive.

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“Small modular reactors are complete innovations in the way that the nuclear power plants can be oriented.

“They will be huge for the UK industry and we have named 40,000 jobs across the UK.”

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