The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is seeking views from manufacturers on new regional R&D hubs to provides additional support in key areas of nuclear technology.
The Nuclear AMRC, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, 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.
Andrew Storer, chief executive officer of the Nuclear AMRC, said:
“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.
“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.