Westinghouse looks to UK for SMR manufacture

Following a study by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) Westinghouse has announced that it would be able to manufacture the reactor pressure vessel for its Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR) in the UK.

Making the announcement Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse Senior Vice President, New Plants and Major Projects, said, “The ability to source locally the steel, forge, machine and then assemble all of the Westinghouse SMR reactor pressure vessel is a significant finding and builds on our unique offering to the UK Government. We are confident that our innovative approach and ability to localise our supply chain and manufacturing in the UK, further demonstrates our commitment to developing SMR technology in the UK.”

The Nuclear AMRC’s study determined that Westinghouse’s use of UK advanced manufacturing techniques offers a potential 50 percent reduction in delivery lead times and offers substantial cost savings to SMR manufacturing. The UK’s strong nuclear supply chain, as well as Westinghouse’s commitment to SMR technology, would promote economic growth and job creation in the UK’s nuclear industry.

On behalf of the Nuclear AMRC its Chief Executive Mike Tynan said, “The results of this manufacturing study demonstrate the important role that Nuclear AMRC can play in identifying efficiencies within the advanced manufacturing process to significantly reduce capital costs and drive project savings, whilst also highlighting key opportunities for the UK supply chain, which can only benefit the UK economy.”

In addition to the ability to fabricate the major components in the UK Westinghouse’s existing Springfields facility outside of Preston is a strategic national asset, employing more than 1,000 and also allows for SMR fuel to be manufactured locally.