Birchwood Nuclear Exhibition 2018

26 September 2018, Birchwood Nuclear Hub.

The UK’s biggest independent nuclear suppliers’ exhibition returns to Birchwood Park, the heart of the North-West nuclear cluster.

The Engineering & Technology Solutions Exhibition will feature exhibitors from along the nuclear supply chain.

The 2018 exhibition will include technology demonstrations – including a hands-on taste of advanced manufacturing innovation aboard the AMRC Mantra travelling showcase – knowledge-sharing and technical presentations, and networking opportunities.

The event is organised by Nu-Tech Exhibitions & Events, with support from the Nuclear AMRC, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Nuclear Institute, Nuclear Industry Association, National Skills Academy for Nuclear, North-West Nuclear Forum and Birchwood Forum.

Last year’s event was attended by more than 150 companies of all sizes, with exhibitors including over 40 Fit For Nuclear manufacturers.

This year, F4N-granted companies can claim an exclusive discount on exhibition space.

For more information, go to: www.nuclearexhibitions.com/BirchwoodEvent

 

Nuclear Asset Information, Monitoring and Maintenance

3–4 July 2018, Warrington.

This two-day conference will offer an in-depth look at integrated asset information strategies to support risk mitigation, enhance safety, drive efficiency and manage cost throughout the lifecycle of nuclear facilities.

The demand for longer plant life and the high rate of technological change compounds the need for the nuclear sector to understand where innovation is needed in asset information management, and how to implement that change.

The conference is targeted at cross-functional asset information stakeholders from European nuclear facilities, including senior decision makers in asset management, information systems, operational technology, instrumentation and controls, maintenance and engineering.

Speakers include Nuclear AMRC equipment qualification technical lead Chris Jenkinson.

For more information, go to nuclearassetinformation.com

Game-changing innovation for waste containers

Three industry partnerships are developing new waste container concepts which could prove game-changing for the decommissioning programme at Sellafield.

The projects are the result of the Game Changers challenge event hosted by the Nuclear AMRC in early 2017. The event aimed to stimulate fresh thinking among manufacturers and engineers on how to increase efficiency and reduce cost for waste containers used in the UK’s decommissioning programme.

A large part of the challenge at Sellafield and other decommissioning sites involves the efficient and safe movement and storage of radioactive waste, ranging from wet sludge to large items of machinery and building components. Sellafield Ltd expects to spend up to £4 billion during decommissioning, based on the high cost of current stainless steel containers, so production savings could mean significant savings for the taxpayer.

Following the event, companies submitted 29 funding applications to the Game Changers programme, with 18 receiving £5,000 initial grants to develop their ideas. Seven were then identified by Sellafield Ltd as being of clear interest, and combined into three collaborative projects which have now been awarded proof-of-concept funding.

The first project is led by Heatric, part of the Meggitt Group, which will develop a solid-state joining technique for the top flange of waste containers (above). Heatric believes its diffusion bonding technology, which it currently uses to produce compact heat exchangers, can address a weak point in waste container production while reducing costs.

The second project will develop an innovative steel container of completely new design. Design engineers Eadon Consulting, filter manufacturer GFSA, and welding specialists Arc Energy Resources say the cylindrical design (below) can provide greater ease of use and minimise through-life costs, while allowing volume manufacture to meet Sellafield’s requirements.

The third project will investigate a potential new generation of fibre-reinforced concrete waste container, and brings together Amber Precast, LKAB Minerals and construction specialist RWS, with additional support from Tarmac. The project includes a full review of the latest concrete admixture technology and identification of appropriate test methods to evaluate the suitability of new materials for use in nuclear decommissioning.

The seven companies are now developing their concepts through testing and trials, with support from Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

“Through this process, we have been able to explain our needs to a wide range of potential suppliers and are funding three partnerships and engagement continues throughout,” says Ciara Walsh, waste integration manager at Sellafield Ltd. “It has enabled Sellafield Ltd to work with suppliers in a different way that has accelerated progress through to proof of concept stage.”

Three of the manufacturers – Heatric, Arc Energy Resources and RWS – have previously worked with the Nuclear AMRC through the Fit For Nuclear programme.

New R&D centre for Derby

The Nuclear AMRC has signed an agreement with Derby City Council and local stakeholders to establish a new industrial R&D centre at the city’s Infinity Park.

The proposed new centre will complement the capabilities of the Nuclear AMRC’s core research factory on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, and its modularisation R&D facility in Birkenhead. It will also draw on the wider capabilities of the University of Sheffield AMRC cluster of advanced manufacturing centres, including the AMRC with Boeing and the AMRC Training Centre.

Infinity Park is a 100 acre technology park to the south of Derby, and part of the Nottingham and Derby Enterprise Zone. The Nuclear AMRC will initially take space in Infinity Park’s iHub facility, to develop technology demonstrators and test ideas before committing to a full-scale bespoke facility of around 5,000 square metres.

“A new facility will give us the space to establish industrial pull and develop new capabilities in technology themes such as digital controls and instrumentation, advanced simulation, equipment qualification and construction,” says Andrew Storer, Nuclear AMRC chief executive officer.

“The new centre will also act as a regional hub for on-the-ground support to manufacturers of all sizes. We have already helped dozens of Midlands-based manufacturers become Fit For Nuclear through our supply chain development programme, and want to work with even more to support their ambitions in nuclear and other high-value sectors.”

Infinity Park is located alongside the global headquarters of Rolls-Royce, the Nuclear AMRC’s founding industrial member, in the UK’s largest cluster of advanced manufacturing.

According to the Midlands Engine partnership, the region’s economy is based on a globally-significant advanced manufacturing base serving sectors such as energy, aerospace, automotive and rail, generating 31 per cent of the UK’s exports in machinery and transport.

“The location is important – there is a lot of talk about the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine, and we can join these through our Birkenhead, Rotherham and Derby facilities,” Storer says. “We work with manufacturing companies large and small to help them win work in the nuclear sector, and to de-risk investments in new technologies which can be applied across a host of industries. A new facility in Derby will give us an incredible opportunity for cross-sector activities to expand our work into new areas of research.”

The Nuclear AMRC has now signed an agreement with Derby City Council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, and is planning a cross-sector launch event at the iHub facility in June.

The agreement will support Derby City Council and D2N2’s strategy for improving the region’s economic growth, skills and jobs. D2N2 is allocating £12.9 million to Infinity from its Local Growth Fund allocation over six years to improve infrastructure on the site.

“The iHub is a real beacon for innovation and growth and is now home to some of the most inspiring SMEs from across the UK’s planes, trains and automobiles sector. With Rolls-Royce and many other of high-tech companies in the area, it makes perfect sense to house the new innovation centre close by on Infinity Park,” says Councillor Martin Rawson, cabinet member for regeneration and the economy. “We hope that AMRC’s expertise for research and innovation, coupled with the city’s strong skills base, will reinforce Derby’s reputation as the go-to place for global manufacturing companies and act as a catalyst for attracting even more high-tech engineering and manufacturing companies to Infinity Park.”

“Our work alongside the other centres in the University of Sheffield AMRC has made the Sheffield City Region a magnet for smart inward investors,” Storer adds. “With the support of Derby City Council and D2N2, our plan is to create that same impact here at Infinity Park in Derby.

“For me, this is doubly exciting as I started work as an apprentice very close to here, so hopefully this will inspire the next generation of talented engineers – boys and girls – to continue the tradition for advanced manufacturing in Derby and the Midlands Engine.”

Nuclear industry rewards young talent

Sellafield manufacturing apprentice Aidan Bennett was among the young stars of the nuclear industry celebrating their achievements at the UK Nuclear Skills Awards.

Bennett was awarded Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by the Nuclear AMRC, after completing a mechanical manufacture engineering and mechanical maintenance apprenticeshipwith Sellafield Ltd. He is now working as a manufacture machinist.

L-R: Roger Lewis, Sellafield; Richard Caborn, Nuclear AMRC; Aidan Bennett; awards host Julia Bradbury.

Runners-up for the manufacturing award were Matthew Ravenscroft from Rolls-Royce and Ryan Edgely from BAE Systems.

The awards, organised by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) and Cogent Skills and held in Manchester, brought the nuclear industry together to celebrate the success and high achievement of individuals nominated for awards in apprentice and graduate disciplines.

“The UK Nuclear Skills Awards highlights the exceptional quality of people of all levels who are committed to careers in the nuclear sector,” said Jo Tipa, managing director of NSAN. “The dinner also highlights the vital work done by the training and education professionals working in and with the nuclear industry across the UK. I would like to personally congratulate all of the winners and finalists, they are all inspirational examples of the talent that exists in our sector.  I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Benjamin Crane of Urenco UK took the UK Nuclear Apprentice of the Year award, as well as Engineering Apprentice of the Year.

The other winners were Amy Mayor of BAE Systems, Business Service Apprentice of the Year; Daniel Hagan of Sellafield Ltd, Scientific Apprentice of the Year; Naomi Pulfrey of BAE Systems, Science Graduate of the Year; James Cross of BAE Systems, Engineering Graduate of the Year; Charlotte Burman of the Ministry of Defence, Postgraduate Student of the Year; and Lauren Eastburn and Beth Howarth-Henry, both from BAE Systems, STEM Ambassador Award.

 

Disk laser opens for R&D

The Nuclear AMRC’s powerful new disk laser cell is now open for collaborative R&D into high-performance welding techniques.

disk laser cell

The centre’s power beam team have completed the first welding trials, following a four-month installation of the cell.

The cell is designed to produce high-quality deep penetration joins, from around 15mm in stainless steel, over lengths of a metre or more. It features a 16kW Trumpf disk laser, the most powerful of its kind in the UK.

The laser head is carried by a six-axis gantry over a two-axis manipulator table which can carry components up to 15 tonnes, all contained in a safety enclosure measuring 10 by seven metres and eight metres height. The cell has been designed and built by Loughborough-based Cyan Tec Systems, a specialist in integrating robotic and laser systems for industrial applications.

disk laser prep

The Nuclear AMRC team will initially use the cell to investigate the viability of using the laser to weld seams on large intermediate-level waste containers for the nuclear decommissioning sector.

Laser welding promises to significantly reduce manufacturing times and costs while maintaining a high quality of weld seams. Thanks to a strictly localised high-energy input and high travel speeds of 10 metres per minute or more, the laser produces a much lower heat input than most other welding technologies, significantly reducing thermal stress and distortion.

The cell can deliver a simultaneous MIG weld for hybrid welding, which can offer a better fit-up tolerance than laser alone with less heat distortion than arc alone. The technique is used in the shipbuilding industry to join steel plates.

With further development, the cell could also be used to investigate laser cutting techniques for decommissioning.

The team now want to talk to manufacturers who are interested in developing laser welding processes for their own production, or who want to investigate innovative applications of the technology.

Industry views wanted on new UK research hubs

The Nuclear AMRC is seeking views from manufacturers on new regional R&D hubs to provides additional support in key areas of nuclear technology.

The Nuclear AMRC has launched the consultation to gauge demand from companies working in the nuclear industry and other advanced manufacturing sectors.

The consultation seeks views on what additional capabilities will deliver the most value to industry. Proposed technical areas include advanced construction techniques, equipment qualification, testing, and innovative electrical control and instrumentation (C&I) technologies.

consultation map

“The development of new advanced capabilities is an opportunity to bring high value opportunities such as C&I to the forefront of research and innovation in the UK, alongside initiatives such as modular construction and equipment qualification,” says Andrew Storer, chief executive officer of the Nuclear AMRC.

“We have already opened our R&D centre for modularisation technologies in Birkenhead, and are keen to explore what other important areas require intervention. New R&D capabilities will help reduce costs and lead time for the nuclear industry and other industries which can benefit from research in this area.”

The UK has a solid base of academic and industrial experience in many areas of technology, but a limited amount of nuclear-specific research. New build reactor vendors typically carry out research in their home country.

Increasing the UK’s C&I research capability, for example, would help the domestic supply chain move from legacy analogue systems used in existing plant, to the digital and wireless technologies systems used in new reactor designs. That would enable the UK to compete for more C&I work in operations, decommissioning, new build and future reactor development, and reduce project costs.

The consultation will seek views from the nuclear industry, academia, regional authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), as well as cross-sectoral input from other high-value industries such as construction, rail, aerospace, automotive and marine.

The Nuclear AMRC is now contacting its members and other companies it is supporting through its manufacturing innovation and supply chain development work, including manufacturers taking part in the Fit For Nuclear programme. The centre also welcomes input from any other interested company or stakeholder.

 

Rolls-Royce and Nuclear AMRC to build UK SMR module

Rolls-Royce has awarded a contract to the Nuclear AMRC to develop a module demonstrator for the UK SMR.

The demonstrator will develop an understanding of modules and underpin early-stage design principles which will help deliver cost and programme certainty for the manufacture, construction and through-life operation of its UK SMR power plants.

“Modular design is central to our UK SMR power station, not only for the reactor components but for the construction of the entire plant,” says Matt Blake, chief engineer for the UK SMR at Rolls-Royce. “The UK SMR uses road-transportable modules that are completed in factories and transported for direct plug-and-play installation on site, allowing a fleet of reactors to be built and operated with much greater levels of cost certainty and operational efficiency.”

RR SMR truck

Johnny Stephenson, Nuclear AMRC business development manager, said: “This is a fantastic project for our new modular manufacturing research facility in Birkenhead, where we are developing and evaluating a range of modularisation techniques which could be used to build a new fleet of SMRs. We will work with the UK SMR consortium to explore both physical and digital aspects of modularisation, using technologies that have the potential to deliver significant savings in the manufacture, assembly and operation of SMR power stations.”

Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium of British companies to design a small modular reactor power station to deliver low cost, low carbon energy to help the UK meet its carbon commitments. The Rolls-Royce-led UK SMR could produce reliable energy for as low as £60 per megawatt hour – competitive against wind and solar – and through its innovative approach to modular construction, can avoid the complexities, delays and overspends often associated with large infrastructure projects.

World Nuclear Exhibition

26–28 June 2018, Paris.

A major event for key players in the global nuclear energy sector, with 10,000 visitors and 4,000 businesses expected over three days. The WNE covers all aspects of the nuclear industry from new build and construction, through operations and maintenance to decommissioning.

With the full support of the French nuclear industry and including all the major international reactor vendors, the WNE represents a key event for companies looking to win work in the UK or international nuclear market. It is also a great opportunity to connect with companies in the French nuclear industry, including key players in the EDF/Framatome supply chain.

For full details: www.world-nuclear-exhibition.com

WNE2018

The Energy Industries Council (EIC) and Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) are leading a UK delegation in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT). Space is available in a shared UK pavilion – visit the EIC events page for details.

Decom2018

18–19 June 2018, London.

The Nuclear Industry Association presents Decom2018, a conference looking at the latest developments in the domestic and global decommissioning markets.

decom2018

The two-day event will feature panel discussions, keynote speeches and an opportunity to network with more than 250 senior leaders from across the decommissioning sector.

For more information, go to decom2018.co.uk