Springfields, Lancashire – Westinghouse Electric Company today announced their Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (LFR) program has successfully progressed to Phase 2 of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Feasibility and Development project, receiving £10m ($12.5m) in funding from the BEIS Energy Innovation Portfolio. The funding will help to advance nuclear technology through innovation in order to deliver reliable, clean energy for future generations.
As part of Phase 2, Westinghouse, in collaboration with industry, research centres and academic partners, will utilise the funding to undertake applied research and development activities. The award will be used to demonstrate LFR components and accelerate the development of high-temperature materials, advanced manufacturing technologies and modular construction strategies for the LFR.
“Our progression to Phase 2 builds on our eighty-year history in the UK as a Strategic National Asset,” said Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse president and chief executive officer. “This is the perfect combination of reducing the cost of electricity and maintaining a leading edge of science, research and innovation for the UK.”
The Westinghouse LFR, a 450 MWe-class Generation IV reactor design, has the potential to have a transformative effect on the cost and market flexibility of new nuclear. The key features of the Westinghouse LFR include a simplified design, flexible operations and fuel cycle capabilities, zero CO2 emissions, walk-away safety features and modular assembly. The Westinghouse LFR will also achieve a competitive Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCoE) to ensure economic competitiveness in the most challenging global electricity markets.
As part of the AMR project, some of the development facilities will be established at the Clean Energy Technology Park at Springfields. The Clean Energy Technology Park is contributing towards the UK’s Net Zero ambitions by leveraging the existing strategic national asset, Springfields, to support innovation and collaborative partnerships, whilst providing opportunities for bringing highly-skilled jobs to the North West of England and significant economic benefits to the UK.
Westinghouse will deliver the Phase 2 program in collaboration with Ansaldo Nucleare and ENEA, in addition to Bangor University, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Jacobs, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), the University of Cambridge, the University of Manchester and Vacuum Process Engineering, Inc. (VPE).