Wednesday, June 6, 2012

News: Royal opening for Nuclear AMRC


The Duke of York was in Rotherham last week to officially open the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).

His Royal Highness met with Nuclear AMRC staff and apprentices, and representatives from a wide range of manufacturing businesses, to find out how the Nuclear AMRC is helping them become more competitive.

The £25m Nuclear AMRC on the Advanced Manufacturing Park is a joint initiative between the University of Sheffield, The University of Manchester, and a consortium of industry partners. It assists UK companies to successfully compete in the emerging £40 billion civil nuclear supply chain.

Research and operations are led by its industrial members – 34 companies are currently full members, from reactor providers Areva and Westinghouse, and top-tier suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel and Sheffield Forgemasters, through to specialised SMEs.

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, programme director of the Nuclear AMRC, said: "We are delighted that The Duke of York has agreed to open the Nuclear AMRC. The new centre has a huge role to play in assisting UK manufacturers to enter the nuclear new build market, both at home and globally. The support we provide will have a huge impact on the number and value of contracts that UK manufacturers can win."

Construction of the 8,000 sq m centre was begun in November 2010, with Her Majesty the Queen donning virtual reality glasses to remotely activate a digger.

It was built to "Excellent" BREEAM environmental standards with power and heating is provided by a 99m wind turbine rated at 900kW and ground source heat pumps with 320kW capacity.

The core of the building contains almost 6,000 sq m of workshop space, containing a range of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment tailored for nuclear industry applications. The building also includes laboratory and technical support space, a VR cave for virtual assembly research and training.

Following the opening of the Nuclear AMRC building, The Duke of York visited the University of Sheffield's new Diamond Jubilee Knowledge Transfer Centre to meet local companies which have been in business for 60 years, as part of the Jubilee celebrations.

The newly-named £4m centre enables experts to increase R&D activity and collaboration with regional manufacturers. It is increasing the rate of knowledge transfer, bringing more companies into long-term collaborations with the AMRC's research centres.

Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Nuclear AMRC


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