Westinghouse announces new industrial partnership to reduce SMR lead-times

Artists impression of a Westinghouse SMR power station
Artists impression of a Westinghouse SMR power station

Westinghouse has announced that it is partnering with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and Cammel Laird on an additional advanced manufacturing study to explore potential design efficiencies to reduce significantly the build lead-times of the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR).  These efficiencies can provide important reductions in costs to customers while promoting growth in manufacturing within the UK, an important part of Westinghouse’s SMR program.

“The Westinghouse SMR is an innovative, industry-leading technology that builds upon the company’s extensive reactor and fuel technology expertise”, said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse Senior Vice President, New Plants and Major Projects. “Nuclear AMRC has broad experience in design for the manufacture of large, complex parts for safety-critical applications, and its support will help to increase the efficiency of our design, while building on our specialised UK value proposition.”

Westinghouse SMR pressure vessel
Westinghouse SMR pressure vessel

Earlier this year Nuclear AMRC conducted its first advanced manufacturing research study on the Westinghouse SMR’s Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV), one of the largest and most demanding parts of any reactor.  The study concluded that Westinghouse’s design had the potential to be efficiently manufactured in the UK, a significant growth market for Westinghouse.

For the latest advanced manufacturing study, alongside Nuclear AMRC, Westinghouse has also partnered with Cammell Laird. “Cammell Laird has over forty years’ experience in the design, manufacture, assembly and transport of large complex modules to a number of safety critical sectors. We are pleased to bring this knowledge to support the Nuclear AMRC in undertaking the Nuclear Module study for Westinghouse,” said Jonathan Brown, Managing Director, Cammell Laird.

“Greater R&D focus on technologies surrounding SMR manufacture, from follow-up studies such as this, will reduce the risk, minimise the lead times, whilst significantly optimising cost and quality delivery performance,” said Mike Tynan, Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear AMRC. “Design for Assembly is one such area of interest which has the potential to significantly reduce construction costs and time, by minimising the amount of labour required on site.”

Westinghouse says that this announcement further demonstrates its commitment to partnering with the UK Government to deploy the company’s SMR technology in order to move the UK from buyer to global provider of the latest nuclear energy technology. Westinghouse has a strong UK presence and has also met the requirements necessary to manufacture fuel for the Westinghouse SMR in the UK.