Friday, March 12, 2010

News: Nuclear AMRC to help supply nuclear's next generation


Details of the £25m Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) have been presented to the leading players in the nuclear industry at the Nuclear New Build 2010 conference.

Professor Keith Ridgway, the programme's director discussed how the Nuclear AMRC will provide a focal point for the bulk of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing industry supply chain, ensuring that manufacturers in the UK have the capability and capacity required to compete for nuclear new build in the UK and globally, from skills training to research and development.

It is a joint initiative between industry, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Manchester. It will be based in a new purpose-built facility with state of the art equipment at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

The centre will employ around 75 researchers who will focus on the machining, fabrication and the assembly of components for new nuclear power stations. Development programmes will also focus on virtual manufacturing and assembly and large scale demonstrators up to pre-production.

The Nuclear AMRC builds on the model developed by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing. The centre will develop a consortium of industrial members from across the supply chain.

Already signed up are leading nuclear reactor providers Areva and Westinghouse, power systems provider Rolls-Royce and steel engineering group Sheffield Forgemasters International. The centre is also supported by EDF Energy, the Nuclear Industry Association and NAMTEC.

At the conference, Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy's manging director of Nuclear New Build said: "EDF Energy wholeheartedly supports the aims and objectives of NAMRC in its work to prepare and develop the UK Supply Chain for the Nuclear New Build Programme.

"We see NAMRC's role as a pivotal one in helping the UK supply chain to benchmark their capabilities and in so doing better understand what actions and upskilling they may need to put in place to meet the rigorous standards required for these projects so that they can actively participate in their delivery."

Current work is focused on building the industrial consortium, identifying industry needs, and developing the centre's capabilities and resources. Planning is well under way and the 8,000 sq m iconic building is being designed by Bond Bryan Architects, who also designed the Factory of the Future. The facility is scheduled to be completed by late 2011.

Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Nuclear AMRC / Bond Bryan


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