Forgemasters set for bigger role in the civil nuclear power sector

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SHEFFIELD Forgemasters is on the brink of securing lucrative work in the civil nuclear power sector, it was revealed yesterday.

The company is upgrading its American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) civil nuclear accreditation to help it capitalise on market opportunities.

The company, which has held ASME accreditation for the manufacture of components for civil nuclear power since 1992, is developing a programme to gain accreditation that will cover fabrication for civil nuclear power stations.

Under its current accreditation, Forgemasters can manufacture components to the ASME Nuclear Code. Gaining the ASME NPT (Nuclear Partials) accreditation will enable Sheffield Forgemasters to weld “safety critical components”, which will go into the heart of nuclear power plants around the world.

David Street, group quality director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “We initially fielded an enquiry from one of our customers in the civil nuclear power industry (who wanted Forgemasters) to add a welded extension to a nuclear reactor primary pump casting prior to delivery, rather than having to source from this work from another facility; which is a more efficient and compact approach. Without ASME NPT accreditation, we couldn’t undertake this work.

“Gaining this accreditation opens an entirely new market opportunity to us.”

Last month, the Government revealed it was offering a loan to Sheffield Forgemasters as part of a £950m jobs-boosting package.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg denied there had been any change of heart when he revealed a proposed loan of as much as £36m for Sheffield Forgemasters.

The company had been controversially refused an £80m loan last year amid bitter recriminations, particularly in the city Mr Clegg represents.

The Sheffield Hallam MP insisted the new loan was unconnected to his own political fortunes.