CNL collaboration to focus on clean energy development

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has signed a new agreement with the Nuclear AMRC to work together to develop new clean energy and next-generation nuclear technologies.

Mark Lesinski, president and chief executive officer of CNL, and Andrew Storer, chief executive of the Nuclear AMRC, signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Canada-UK Energy Summit in London. The annual conference aims to expand ties between the energy sectors in Canada and the UK, both of which are committed to combating climate change by transitioning to low-carbon, low-pollution and resource-efficient economies.

Under the agreement, CNL will join the Nuclear AMRC as a tier one member alongside leading nuclear organisations from around the world.

“Both CNL and the Nuclear AMRC are committed to fighting climate change through the advancement of clean energy technologies, and this MOU allows us to work in partnership towards that end,” said Lesinski.

“For CNL, membership offers tremendous benefits, including access to unique capabilities and training programs, participation in cutting-edge manufacturing innovation projects, and networking opportunities with some of the world’s leading nuclear organisations. In turn, CNL can offer the Nuclear AMRC access to our expertise and facilities from a wide range of nuclear science and technology disciplines. Overall, the MOU builds on the close relationship between both countries, and paves the way for a bright future in the pursuit of clean energy technology.”

CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories campus is home to facilities and nuclear services ranging from research and development, design and engineering to specialised technology, waste management and decommissioning.

“We are very pleased to be strengthening our collaboration with CNL, which is a testament to the longstanding relationship between the UK and Canada in driving innovation in the global civil nuclear industry,” said Storer. “Working closely with CNL will give us access to world-renowned engineering expertise and additional manufacturing research programmes linked to the development of small modular and Candu reactor technologies. We look forward to building a prosperous partnership with CNL in the years to come.”

Many of CNL’s technology areas intersect with those of the Nuclear AMRC. The two organisations intend to collaborate on fields including materials characterization and performance, and advanced manufacturing methods for small modular reactor (SMR) safety-critical components.

“CNL is currently undergoing a major transformation, funded by a $1.2 billion investment from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) on behalf of the Government of Canada, to revitalize our Chalk River campus and renew our science and technology programs,” commented Lesinski. “As part of this transformation, we are working to develop new products and services that include the deployment of SMRs, the use of hydrogen to decarbonise Canada’s transportation sector, the development of new methods to fabricate next-generation nuclear fuels, and many others. These programs are ambitious in scope, and will certainly require the expertise and technologies of key partners – such as the Nuclear AMRC and their UK-based membership – to fully realise their potential.”

The announcement builds on the strong record of collaboration between Canada and the UK dating back to the 1940s, when both countries established a laboratory in Montreal to jointly begin research into the creation of controlled nuclear power. Most recently, CNL signed an MOU with the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) in 2016 to collaborate on a variety of projects in the areas of reactor metallurgy, fuel development, waste management and medical radioisotopes.

The countries also co-host the Canada-UK Energy Summit, which gathers business and government leaders from the energy sectors in Canada, the UK and around the world for discussions on accelerating clean energy adoption. The annual event, organised by the Energy Roundtable, is now in its tenth year.

TotalDecom supply chain networking

20 November 2018, AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre.

The Nuclear AMRC is teaming up with TotalDecom to offer the perfect platform for manufacturers to network with supply chains which seek their skills and expertise.

TotalDecom supports collaboration and the cross-fertilisation of knowledge, innovation and skills across all sectors faced with a decommissioning responsibility – including nuclear, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, renewables, defence and space – with webinars and events across the year.

This supply chain networking event will be a great opportunity for manufacturers to:

  • Learn –about what’s going on across the decommissioning industries , new innovations and technology in the nuclear supply chain, and where there might be potential to win new business.
  • Connect –the supply chain exhibition will provide a fantastic networking opportunity, bringing together organisations actively looking to solve some of the world’s most difficult technical challenges  with the businesses that can.
  • Do business – pitch your company to influential organisations with our one-to-one appointment slots.
  • Diversify –many of the skills and expertise required to decommission an asset safely, cost effectively and with minimal impact on the environment are remarkably similar across all sectors – learn about how you can take your skills & expertise into new and exciting areas.

For more information and to register, go to TotalDecom Supply Chain Networking Event.

Conference focuses on commercialising small reactors

Around 200 industry experts attended the UK’s first government-backed conference to explore the investment opportunities of small nuclear reactors.

The Commercialisation of small reactors in the UK event was organised by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry on 6 November. It brought together experts from across the finance, nuclear, construction and manufacturing sectors to explore taking small and advanced reactors from concept to construction.

In a presentation to the conference, nuclear energy minister Richard Harrington announced the next steps in government support for small and advanced modular reactors as part of the nuclear sector deal.

The £32 million advanced manufacturing and construction programme, which will aim to kickstart the supply chain for small nuclear projects, will be launched before the end of the year. Companies will be able to bid for funding to try out new technologies and techniques associated with new reactors and iron out any flaws with demonstration models, before they start producing at scale.

The programme is intended to support a number of representative-scale build projects using factory-build techniques, modular and advanced construction processes, digital engineering and other methods. These collaborative projects will bring together the industry’s top tier with manufacturers, universities and specialist research centres, with the results fed through the UK supply chain. Research will be targeted at technologies and components which offer the greatest value for UK manufacturing, with companies working with the nuclear regulators to ensure that new processes and products meet regulatory requirements.

Harrington also announced that developers of small and advanced modular reactors would be invited to submit their design proposals to the UK regulators in the new year. Any new designs will have to pass the generic design assessment (GDA) process operated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency, which allows a reactor design to be built at multiple sites in the UK.

“Hosting this first ever conference, bringing together more than 200 influencers from across the industry, demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our world-leading nuclear sector,” Harrington said. “Increasing competitiveness both nationally and regionally in the sector is part of our modern Industrial Strategy, and this summit could help UK industry seize the global challenge of taking this new generation of new nuclear power from concept to construction.”

Speakers at the conference included Nuclear AMRC programme director Jay Shaw, who presented alongside MTC director Neil Rawlinson on how manufacturing innovation can be best applied to the small reactor market.

The event included a showcase of relevant manufacturing technologies, including prototype pressure vessel sections produced by the Nuclear AMRC as part of a collaborative project with the US Electric Power Research Institite. Parts on show included a pressure vessel section joined by electron beam welding in two hours, compared to some 10 days using conventional submerged arc welding techniques; and a pressure vessel head partially clad using advanced diode laser technology.

“The advanced manufacturing technologies we’re developing at the Nuclear AMRC will play a vital role in ensuring that new reactor designs are manufactured to cost and schedule, enabling the UK to take a global lead in commercialising small reactors, with huge opportunities for companies across the country,” commented Andrew Storer, Nuclear AMRC chief executive officer. “We’re already working with around 1,000 manufacturers across the UK to help them compete in the worldwide nuclear sector, and we welcome the Government’s continuing support for the new generation of clean affordable power.”

The event followed a visit from business secretary Greg Clark to the Nuclear AMRC on 25 October, where he met apprentices and staff developing cutting-edge technology for SMR production.