Sheffield Forgemasters, X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the next generation of UK nuclear reactors.
The companies will collaborate to explore opportunities around the deployment of a fleet of Xe-100 Generation IV Advanced Reactors in the UK, based on High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor technology.
X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear will tap into Sheffield Forgemasters’ decades of experience in the development of nuclear forgings and castings with plans to build up to 40 Xe-100s across the country as the UK looks towards nuclear as a zero-carbon energy source.
Dominic Ashmore, Head of Strategy and Business Development – Clean Energy at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “Following the key step forward recently made by Great British Nuclear (GBN) to boost UK nuclear power generation through Small Modular Reactor (SMR) development, GBN is also developing a route to market for other technologies, including advanced nuclear and a consultation will be published this autumn.
“The UK’s civil nuclear development is part of our business strategy and this MOU is the latest in a line of agreements that we have signed with a number of SMR companies looking to deploy in the UK market.
“Our work with X-Energy and Cavendish Nuclear will provide specialist engineering services, support and components including forgings, to the UK Xe-100 deployment programme.
“Sheffield Forgemasters will undertake a detailed review of the Xe-100 forgings and look to facilitate more definitive cost estimates and production plans.”
The Xe-100 reactor is capable of producing high temperature heat and steam for clean industrial applications as well as electricity. The MoU is the latest step in building up a UK supply chain to ensure the benefits of the programme flow to British companies.
Carol Tansley, Vice President, UK New Build Projects at X-energy said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Sheffield Forgemasters, which is a world-renowned industry leader in its field.
“Our technology will be the first small modular reactor operational in the US and we want to build on that progress by moving forward quickly with our UK programme.
“In delivering that fleet we want to maximise the involvement of the UK supply chain as part of our target to achieve 80% by value UK content, and the MoU with a company with the experience and capabilities of Sheffield Forgemasters is a crucial step in that journey.
“A UK fleet of 40 reactors would not only see us play a crucial role in delivering clean electricity and industrial decarbonisation but also bring huge opportunities for companies right across the UK. The MoU, along with our partnership with Cavendish Nuclear and our recent appointment of Howden, shows how we are determined to ensure those benefits are realised by the UK’s world-leading supply chain.”
Mick Gornall, Managing Director of Cavendish Nuclear said: “We are really excited to bring the capability of Sheffield Forgemasters into the plans for UK manufacture and supply in support of Xe-100 deployment.”