Sheffield Forgemasters International celebrated a landmark moment this week with nuclear power plant designer Westinghouse UK as it became one of a handful of British companies to be certified to fabricate safety critical cast and forged components within nuclear power stations.
Sheffield Forgemasters has now received its certification, which the company has been waiting for since February when it passed the final audit by American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Partials (NPT) status.
The green light, will provide a new area business for the company as it moves into civil nuclear manufacture.
Sheffield Forgemasters has worked with Westinghouse Electric Company UK as a key supply chain partner for many years including collaborating on the unique manufacture of the AP1000 cast steel nuclear reactor primary pump casings with Curtiss Wright EMD.
Sheffield Forgemasters chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “We are delighted to be presented with the ASME NPT certificate by Westinghouse, an apex manufacturer of civil power stations and a world leader in the field.
“This company is continually evolving and looking at new product and services streams. The accreditation to ASME NPT status allows us to build on many years as a manufacturer of large cast and forged components for civil nuclear and to now move into another phase of nuclear development.
“The timing of this is crucial as we are now looking at rapidly increasing global demand for clean and reliable energy provision, of which, civil nuclear will play a big part.
“It is important for me also to recognise the substantial amount of work and effort that David Street and his team have undertaken to assimilate the highly detailed ASME code and to implement it across our operations in order to pass the ASME audit and gain this certification.”
Alan Palin, manager, Nuclear Power Plant Business Development at Westinghouse, said: “We are delighted that the work from Sheffield Forgemasters has been realised, recognised and accredited with ASME NPT status.
“We have a long established relationship with SFIL and know the dedicated efforts they have put into this achievement; we look forward to continuing our work with them on global nuclear power plant projects.”
The NPT status will enable the company to weld-fabricate the components it currently supplies as a Nuclear Materials Organisation – a part of the nuclear assembly process that few organisations can undertake and one with significant challenges posed by weld-joining different materials.
The ASME code is the most comprehensive series of guidelines for civil nuclear manufacture in the world and all other codes, including the French RCC-M code, operate to similar compliance requirements. Sheffield Forgemasters has held its Nuclear Materials Organisation status since 1992.
Sheffield Forgemasters now sits with one of its other key customers and partners, Rolls Royce, as one of the only UK companies qualified for main component fabrication within the heart of a civil nuclear power plant.