The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) was officially opened today (28 May) by The Duke of York.
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. His Royal Highness has a continued interest in supporting facilities such as this that are a key part of ensuring that British businesses are at the forefront of science and engineering globally.
Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, programme director of the Nuclear AMRC, says:
“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.”
Managed by the University of Sheffield with support from The University of Manchester Dalton Nuclear Institute, the Nuclear AMRC combines academic innovation with industry expertise to help UK manufacturers seize the opportunities of new investment in nuclear power and other innovative energy technologies.
The Nuclear AMRC’s 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.
The Nuclear AMRC’s main facility is located on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, on the boundary of Sheffield and Rotherham, next to the established University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing.
Construction of the 8000 sq m centre was begun in November 2010, with Her Majesty the Queen donning virtual reality glasses to remotely activate a digger. The building was completed on schedule by October 2011, with the construction project managed by Turner & Townsend. It is now home to a growing team of engineers and researchers.
The Nuclear AMRC is based around an open-plan 5,000 sq m workshop, containing a range of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment tailored for nuclear industry applications. The building also features accommodation over three stories, including laboratory and technical support space, an immersive virtual reality room for assembly research and training, office space and secure meeting rooms. Work at the Nuclear AMRC focuses on metals engineering and does not involve nuclear critical aspects such as fuels or other radioactive materials.
The building was designed by Bond Bryan Architects to ‘Excellent’ BREEAM environmental standards. Power and heating is provided by a 99m wind turbine rated at 900kW and ground source heat pumps with 320kW capacity.
The development of the Nuclear AMRC has been funded by UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The Nuclear AMRC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a new national network of research centres supported by the Technology Strategy Board.
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.