Civil Nuclear Energy Showcase 2013

London, 5-6 February 2013.

UK Trade & Investment and the Nuclear Industry Association present a two-day showcase for the UK civil nuclear supply chain.

The event, at the Holiday Inn, Regents Park, will allow overseas delegates to learn more about the UK civil nuclear offer, and give UK delegates the opportunity to understand overseas markets. There will be networking opportunities, including one-to-one meetings.

For more information, see the Civil Nuclear Energy Showcase 2013 website.

Areva signs up 25 UK suppliers

Areva has signed initial agreements with 25 UK manufacturers to supply products and services for its proposed new reactors at Hinkley Point. The announcement came as regulators confirmed that the Areva EPR design is suitable for construction in the UK.

The French reactor provider has signed memoranda of understanding with 25 UK-based companies for the supply of components and services, including forgings, valves, pumps, cranes, electronics, piping, tanking and refrigeration units.

Areva has identified these companies as pre-qualified to supply products that meet the strict nuclear industry standards: it has also identified another 25 companies with the potential capability to meet its requirements. The Nuclear AMRC will work with all 50 companies to help them qualify and bid for work.

The Nuclear AMRC’s role in supporting UK suppliers was confirmed by the government’s Nuclear supply chain action plan released in early December.  The plan sets out targets for the Nuclear AMRC in helping companies enter the nuclear market, improve their processes and gain the qualifications and certifications they need to meet nuclear quality standards.

EDF Energy, in partnership with Centrica, proposes to build two Areva EPRs at Hinkley Point, Somerset, and another two at Sizewell, Suffolk. Together with a previously announced MOU with top tier supplier Rolls-Royce, Areva’s supply agreements could be worth up to £400 million to British industry. Areva is continuing to identify additional potential suppliers in the UK, through the Nuclear AMRC’s Fit For Nuclear programme and other initiatives.

The regulatory road towards new Areva reactors in the UK has also passed a significant milestone. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency confirmed that they have closed the last issue with the EPR identified in the Generic Design Assessment (GDA), and have granted a formal Design Acceptance Confirmation and Statement of Design Acceptability. This clears the way for the EPR to be built at multiple sites in the UK, although each will still require site-specific consents and approvals.

The EPR is the first of the new generation of reactors to win this generic approval, following a five-year assessment. Westinghouse has said it will not address the outstanding issues from the GDA of its AP1000 design until it secures a UK customer. Hitachi’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor – which it proposes to build at Wylfa, Anglesey and Oldbury, Gloucestershire, following its acquisition of Horizon Nuclear Power ­– has yet to begin the GDA process.

Hitachi completes Horizon purchase

Hitachi Ltd has completed its acquisition of UK developer Horizon Nuclear Power, four weeks after agreeing the purchase from E.ON and RWE.

Horizon Nuclear Power was founded in 2009 as a joint venture between E.ON UK and RWE npower, with plans for up to 3GWe new capacity at both Wylfa, Anglesey and Oldbury, Gloucestershire. In March 2012, E.ON and RWE announced they would not proceed with the new-build plans.

Hitachi’s purchase of Horizon as a going concern, for a reported £696 million, signals continued international interest in UK nuclear new build.

Horizon chief operating officer Alan Raymant said: “We’re delighted that the deal has completed. It secures the future of Horizon, and represents a huge economic opportunity for the UK and in particular the regions around our sites at Wylfa and Oldbury.

“Hitachi have a world-class track record, all of its Advanced Boiling Water Reactors have been constructed to time and to budget. We plan to replicate that success in the UK. Now the sale has completed we will focus on developing our programme and strategy. We look forward to providing further information on our approach in the new year.”

Hitachi plans to build two or three of its own 1300MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) plants at each site. Four such ABWRs are already in operation in Japan, with four more under construction in Japan and Taiwan.

Hitachi’s reactor design has not yet been approved for deployment in the UK, and will have to undergo a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) governed by the Office for Nuclear Regulation. The first plant is not expected to be operational before the mid-2020s.

Areva’s EPR and Westinghouse’s AP1000 are the only reactor designs to have undergone the GDA process. Hitachi’s ABWR is significantly different to these pressurised water reactors, operating at much lower pressures and temperatures but requiring much larger pressure vessels.

Hitachi estimates that around 60% by value of the first reactor will be sourced in the UK, with more local input into later plant. The Japanese group has signed agreements with Rolls-Royce and Babcock International to plan and deliver the programme, and plans to establish an assembly facility for its modular construction technology in the UK.

 

Energy Choices 2012

Westminster, 6 December 2012.

The Nuclear Industry Association presents its annual conference: Energy Choices 2012 – Engine for Growth.

Energy Choices, now in its 12th year, is a major nuclear event in the UK calendar. It will showcase the many benefits that nuclear brings to the UK economy through current generation, new build and decommissioning.

High profile speakers will unpack the key challenges and opportunities associated with delivering major infrastructure projects, maximising the potential for the UK. Attendees will also hear the latest news from Government and developers.

For more information, see: www.niauk.org/energy-choices-12

ASME and PED compliance webinar

Thursday 6 December.

HSB Global Standards is offering a webinar to discuss manufacturing boiler and pressure vessel equipment to ASME Code of construction and PED compliance.

Participants will gain a better understanding of ASME Code and PED compliance. The discussion will include:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Welding
  • Nondestructive Testing
  • Survey Assessment

This one-hour long seminar will be on Thursday 6 December, 2012 at 2:00 P.M.

Email Getinfo@hsbct.com with the subject line ‘Reserve me’, or call Angus Beveridge on 07921 585957

Regional Growth Fund award to the Nuclear AMRC and Rolls-Royce

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced an award of £37.1 million to the University of Sheffield’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), who are working in partnership with Rolls-Royce as the lead company for the UK nuclear supply chain.

The Regional Growth Fund is designed to support a ‘programme of supplier development and manufacturing research and development to create value in the UK that would otherwise migrate overseas.’

The Nuclear AMRC has been awarded the funds – subject to the usual due diligence – to support its large-scale programme of supplier development and manufacturing research in partnership with key industrial members. The programme focuses on the civil nuclear new build industry, but has broad applicability across the nuclear value chain and other industries in the energy sector.

AMRC director Professor Keith Ridgway said: “We are delighted with the announcement of this very important support from the Regional Growth Fund and the understanding from the Government about just how vital this work is to the UK economy. The programme we are operating at the Nuclear AMRC is ambitious and high-impact when compared to other supplier development initiatives, providing strong support for UK suppliers with aspirations to address the global civil nuclear new build opportunity, and creating process technology and intellectual property that will enable export-led growth and long-term competitive advantage for UK supply chains.

“This is a vital opportunity for British manufacturing companies, and we want to support the supply chain in developing the skills to operate in this high value market, in the same way as we have so successfully worked together in relation to aerospace. It is believed that this market could be worth more than £500 billion over the next ten years.”

Professor Stephen Court, operations director at the Nuclear AMRC added: “The Nuclear AMRC is a prime example of the kind of partnership approach which is so important to our future as world-leading manufacturers. Combining industry expertise and university innovation, we work with companies to improve capabilities and performance along the nuclear supply chain. The key to our success is that our members are the manufacturers themselves, and our dedication to helping UK businesses become suppliers of choice to the global civil nuclear industry.

“To do that, we work with supply chain companies to enhance their technical capability to compete on cost, quality and delivery. We also give manufacturers clarity and knowledge on nuclear codes and standards, which helps them to meet and exceed the demanding requirements of this industry. We complement this with the training and skills development which ensures that companies are able to comply with the strict requirements of this industry.”

The news comes as Britain’s nuclear expansion plans were boosted after Japan’s Hitachi signed a £700 million deal that will enable it to start building the next generation of power plants. The facilities, which could be feeding electricity into the national grid in the first half of the 2020s, are expected to generate power equivalent to up to 14 million homes over 60 years.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said of the Regional Growth Fund award: “Our energy sector is a vital part of our economy, and we are determined to maximise the opportunities for the UK from the nuclear and low carbon industries.

“This is an innovative Regional Growth Fund project, which will help our businesses win new orders, both here and abroad. Building strong supply chains, and long term partnerships between Government, industry and universities is a key part of the Government’s industrial strategy, and this is embodied in the work of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.”

  • The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.4 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2015. It supports projects and programmes with significant potential for economic growth that can create additional, sustainable private sector employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities which were dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity.

Opportunities for surface and particulate engineering

Tuesday 6 November 2012, Nuclear AMRC.

The Materials Knowledge Transfer Network presents an introduction to opportunities for surface and particulate engineering in the nuclear new build programme.

This timely seminar will give an insight into how the surface engineering particulate companies can become engaged with nuclear new build.

The day includes an introduction to the Nuclear AMRC’s Fit for Nuclear (F4N) assessment for engineering manufacturing companies.  The F4N assessment will identify any gaps in your company’s performance in terms of meeting standards expected by the reactor vendors and their supply chain partners in key areas of business operations.

Companies and universities will be given the opportunity to describe their capabilities through a five minute presentation. Please contact Keith Harrison if you would like to give a presentation.

There will also be an opportunity to discuss any queries you may have about engaging with the nuclear new build supply chain.

For more information, see: connect.innovateuk.org/web/opportunities-for-surface-and-particulate-engineering-in-the-nuclear-new-build

Machining at 1000mph

The Nuclear AMRC is playing a key role in the Bloodhound SSC project to create a 1000mph car and enthuse a new generation about engineering.

The centre’s machining team is producing seven parts of the rear sub-frame that will hold the rocket into the car, with some parts measuring over a metre in length and width.

“These are high tolerance parts that we’re machining from aerospace-grade aluminium,” says Jay Shaw, deputy machining group manager at the Nuclear AMRC (pictured left with colleagues Mathew Challinor and Matt Reaney, and the part-finished rear bulkhead).

“It’s going to be holding 27,000 pounds of thrust, so our knowledge and capabilities for large parts which will operate under the toughest conditions will be critical.”

Some of the frame components will be machined on the centre’s Starrag HEC1600, and others on the centres’ new Hermle C60 U MT. Delivered in October, the C60 is an extremely versatile five-axis mill-turn centre capable of working on parts up to 1.2m diameter by 90cm high and 1.4t weight.

“It’s a good test for the Hermle – we’ll test the accuracy and our knowledge of the machine,” says Shaw. “It’s ideal because the Hermle is a full five-axis machine so we can do intricate three-dimensional features quite easily.”

The collaboration began early in the summer, when Shaw met with Bloodhound engineers to advise on tolerance and features for the parts. “All these parts we’re machining have been designed for manufacture through the Nuclear AMRC,” he notes.

The work also involves several of the Nuclear AMRC’s members. Sandvik Coromant is supporting on tooling, while Hexagon Metrology will inspect the final parts to ensure they meet specifications.

The Nuclear AMRC’s sister centre, the AMRC with Boeing, has also carried out a range of work for Bloodhound. AMRC engineers produced gearbox parts for the Cosworth F1 engine which Bloodhound will use as a fuel pump, and calibrated the thrust ring for the rocket which successfully test fired in early October.

For more information about the project, see BloodhoundSSC.com

NES first to sign up for skills academy

The new National Skills Academy for Nuclear Manufacturing has officially launched, with NES signing up as the first industrial member.

The new centre is a collaboration between the Nuclear AMRC, National Skills Academy for Nuclear and manufacturing skills group Semta. It provides a single point of contact for supporting the skills requirements of manufacturers in the nuclear supply chain.

Jean Llewellyn OBE, chief executive of the NSA Nuclear and NSA Nuclear Manufacturing (pictured left), says: “Currently, from large multinationals to SMEs, manufacturers have identified a shortage of skilled labour with the competencies required to support the nuclear programme. This is a significant hindrance to them being able to grow their existing operations in the nuclear market, and a real barrier to new supply chain companies wishing to work in the sector.

“The National Skills Academy Nuclear Manufacturing will support the maximisation of nuclear opportunities for the UK manufacturing industry in both the UK and globally, delivering the skills requirements companies need to grow their current market share. Complementing this will be the delivery of manufacturing and engineering training to provide high quality long-term careers for people in this market.”

NSA Nuclear Manufacturing operates on a membership model, with industrial members gaining full access to its specialist skills services. Nuclear Engineering Services (NES), a Tier One member of the Nuclear AMRC, is the first company to sign up. NES specialises in the integrated design, manufacture, assembly, test and commissioning of bespoke solutions for the nuclear decommissioning, new build and defence markets.

Chris Bill, NES finance director (above centre, with head of nuclear new build Anthony Cundall, right), says: “NES is delighted to be involved with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear Manufacturing. Creating a workforce to meet the demands of the current and future UK nuclear programme is something NES is extremely keen to support. Becoming a member of the National Skills Academy will expand on the in-house work carried out by NES in developing a manufacturing apprentice scheme and IMechE accredited graduate engineering scheme.”

The NSA Nuclear Manufacturing is based at the Nuclear AMRC in South Yorkshire, at the heart of the UK nuclear manufacturing industry.

Steve Court, Nuclear AMRC operations director, says: “This collaboration with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and Semta is a unique opportunity to really make a tangible difference for employers. By applying our knowledge and understanding of nuclear manufacturing, we will develop products and solutions which will build workforce skills and knowledge and help companies demonstrate their capability to customers when they bid for work.”

The NSA Nuclear Manufacturing was formally launched at the Developing the skills for growth conference at AMRC, with a keynote presentation from deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. The event also saw the launch of the new AMRC Training Centre, which will provide apprentice and higher training to companies in advanced manufacturing sectors including nuclear.

European Nuclear Power Plant Simulation Forum

Barcelona, 3-4 October 2012.

The Nuclear AMRC is presenting and exhibiting at the the European Nuclear Power Plant Simulation Forum, Europe’s only business conference focused on simulators. It will bring together those who are involved with simulators, training personnel, training managers, operation support managers and anyone with an interest in nuclear power plant simulators or those who develop or use simulation tools for nuclear power plants.

Dr Rab Scott, Nuclear AMRC head of virtual reality and modelling, will give a presentation on how the centre is using virtual environments to support our work in product design, planning, assembly and training.

For more information, see www.amiando.com/nuclearsimulation.html

Nuclear AMRC partners can register for the conference at a discounted price. Contact Rab Scott for details: r.w.scott@namrc.co.uk