The Sheffield City Region’s place as a leading supplier of safety critical components for Britain’s burgeoning civil nuclear power industry has got a multimillion pound boost from the government.
Advanced manufacturers and researchers from the region, led by Sheffield Forgemasters International and Sheffield University, have secured more than £2.4 million towards three projects worth a total of just under £5 million.
Forgemasters will work with the Advanced Manufacturing Park-based materials joining specialists TWI and Sheffield University on a £2.1 million project to develop a way of making pumps that keep coolant circulating in the reactor core using castings.
At present, the pumps have to be made from forgings in order to give them the strength and durability they require. The project has secured almost £1.1 million from the government.
Forgemasters is also working with Rolls-Royce and Sheffield University on a £2.2 million project, which has secured a further £1.1 million from the government.
That project involves developing technologies for making full scale forged components for the primary loop of a civil nuclear power plant.
The primary loop is the closed system which supplies cooling water to the reactor and transfers heat so that it can be used to generate electricity.
The third project secured for the region involves Tata, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and US-based nuclear decommissioning services supplier Siempelkamp. Worth a total of £534,000, including £268,000 worth of government funding, that project involves developing an innovative materials technology for making vessels for storing nuclear waste.
The £5 million that is coming to the Sheffield City Region is the lion’s share of a total of £5.5 million going to projects based in Yorkshire and is part of a £31 million allocation for 35 projects involving more than 60 companies across the UK.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “There are global opportunities that the UK is well placed to take advantage of in the nuclear industry. Our strong research base will help develop exciting new technologies that can be commercialised here and then exported across the globe.”