Friday, November 21, 2014

News: Nuclear AMRC sign Atkins partnership deal

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The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and leading engineering consultancy Atkins have agreed to work together on nuclear industry research & development and on support and training for the UK's civil nuclear supply chain.

The £25m Nuclear AMRC is a joint initiative with industry, The University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute, and is designed to help build and enhance the UK's civil nuclear new build industry.

With state-of-the-art facilities on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the Nuclear AMRC is the focal point for the civil nuclear manufacturing industry in the UK. Part of the government's High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the centre helps to develop capability and competitiveness in the nuclear supply chain through process manufacturing innovation and R&D, driving up quality and reducing cost.

Experts in engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services, Atkins has a reputation for delivering engineering excellence worldwide including in many countries which are considering adding nuclear power to their energy mix.

In 2008, Atkins acquired Rotherham design engineers, Bennett Associates to strengthen its position in the nuclear sector. The Whiston firm has been involved in the nuclear industry for over 20 years and their mechanical engineering designers have worked on systems for the Sizewell B nuclear power station, lifting frames for nuclear submarines and the design and analysis of nuclear shield doors and restraints.

Atkins and the Nuclear AMRC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together for mutual benefit in areas relating to nuclear research & development, UK civil nuclear supply chain development, and the provision of effective support to the UK civil nuclear industry.

"Both groups will contribute expertise, experience and knowhow to their shared aims.

Mike Tynan, chief executive at the Nuclear AMRC, said: "I am delighted to sign a collaboration agreement with Atkins, a successful, experienced and innovative company in the global civil nuclear marketplace. Both of our organisations are committed to excellence in the nuclear industry and are determined to drive a new era of civil nuclear power for the UK. We share a particular interest in the development of the UK civil nuclear supply chain, skills for the future and economic value for the UK through the creation of value in the civil nuclear programme."

Chris Ball, managing director of Atkins' nuclear business, added: "Atkins and the Nuclear AMRC share the spirit of innovation, collaboration and excellence, and we are looking forward to working together.  This is a very exciting time for the nuclear industry in the UK and internationally, and by working closely on pioneering projects with partners like Nuclear AMRC, we're making a real difference to civil nuclear power in the UK."

The Nuclear AMRC has also signed an agreement to work with US-based reactor developer NuScale, on the development of a groundbreaking small modular reactor.

It follows on from a recent visit to Rotherham to discuss the development of a combined containment vessel and reactor system that measures around 25 metres in length by five metres diameter, small enough to be transported by a single lorry, and features state-of-the-art passive safety systems which significantly reduce risks associated with current reactor designs.

Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Nuclear AMRC

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