Wednesday, July 5, 2017

News: Nuclear AMRC opens new modular manufacturing R&D centre

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The Nuclear AMRC has has opened its new modular manufacturing R&D centre, at the Birkenhead site of member company Cammell Laird, one of the famous names in British shipbuilding.

With state of the art facilities on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, 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.

Cammell Laird is the largest and most successful ship repair and conversion specialist in the UK and is on a campaign to position itself as a world-leading nuclear industry hub.

The launch marks the start of a research collaboration led by Cammell Laird to develop modular manufacturing techniques to support the UK's nuclear new build programme.

The research factory on the AMP is home to over £30m worth of state-of-the-art machining, welding and inspection facilities, all of which are available for companies to use in collaborative R&D projects.

The new facility expands the Nuclear AMRC's capabilities into modular manufacturing, the initiative that involves the off-site assembly of large-scale complex systems, which are then transported to site for final installation.

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Modular techniques are already widely used in shipbuilding, aerospace and other safety-critical industries. In the nuclear sector, they can significantly reduce construction risk and help deliver new power stations to schedule and cost.

With over 10,000 sq ft of workshop space, the new Merseyside facility will host specialised machining, joining and assembly equipment to develop and prove modular manufacturing techniques for nuclear applications. Work will address modular manufacturing for new reactors of all sizes, as well as the challenges of decommissioning and waste management.

Andrew Storer, managing director of the Nuclear AMRC (pictured, right), said: "Our new Birkenhead facility extends our capabilities into an area of huge interest and importance to the nuclear industry. Modularisation reduces risk in manufacturing and construction, and will help developers build new power stations on schedule and on budget, meeting our national targets for secure, cost-effective, low-carbon electricity generation.

"The manufacturing techniques we will develop at the new facility can also help improve production efficiency and costs in other parts of the nuclear market, for example in the manufacture of large numbers of standardised waste boxes for the decommissioning programme.

"Our Birkenhead facility is the first of a new network of regional supply chain hubs, which will help us provide on-the-ground support to companies of all sizes across the UK. Birkenhead is ideally placed for the established nuclear cluster in North West England as well as the Wylfa new build site in North Wales. We want to help companies based in this region to become Fit For Nuclear and win work in the nuclear sector at home and worldwide."

Nuclear AMRC website
Cammell Laird website

Images: Nuclear AMRC


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