UKTI Mega Mission to Bulgaria and Romania

9-12 March 2015.

ukti-greatUK Trade & Investment is organising Mega Mission 2015, a trade delegation of UK companies to Romania and Bulgaria.

The four-day tour offers the opportunity to find out more and to meet potential business partners in both countries, in nuclear, oil & gas, mass transport, water and environmental industries.

The energy sector in Bulgaria and Romania is modernising rapidly, creating major opportunities for British companies which are both broad (across every subsector of the energy sector, but particularly in nuclear energy and oil & gas) and deep (with major investment projects planned in every country).

Romania has two operational Candu 6 reactors in Cernavoda, and intends to build two similar reactors on the same site, a project worth £5.5 billion over the next 6-7 years. A separate project to extend the life of one of the existing reactors will begin in 2018 and will require a further £1.8 billion to be spent on storage for the radioactive waste generated, work on which will start next year.

Bulgaria has operated a nuclear power plant at Kozloduy on the Danube for over 30 years. Nearly £400 million in decommissioning work is currently being tendered on reactors 1 to 4, including a waste disposal facility, and lifetime extension work on reactors 5 and 6 (worth £250-300 million) will be tendered later this year.

Elsewhere in the region, Poland envisages 6,000MWe of nuclear power to come online by 2035 from two multi-unit plants, the first of which will be operational by 2025. In Hungary, the Paks nuclear power plant will be expanded with two new reactors.

For more information, visit UKTI’s Mega Mission Nuclear website.

F4N breakfast briefing

Wednesday 17 December, Southampton.

F4N newsThe Nuclear AMRC and Manufacturing Advisory Service present a short introduction to the Fit For Nuclear programme.

In the first of a series of regional briefings, Nuclear AMRC and MAS experts will explain how manufacturing SMEs can measure their capabilities and performance against the requirements of the civil nuclear sector, and access grant funding to help them close any gaps and enhance their competitiveness.

For more information and to register, visit the MAS events page.

Nuclear AMRC and NuScale sign SMR development agreement

The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and US-based reactor developer NuScale have signed a new agreement to work together on the development of a groundbreaking small modular reactor.

NuScale workshopNuScale chief technology officer Dr Jose Reyes and executive vice president Tom Mundy visited the Nuclear AMRC on 19 November to see how the centre’s world-leading manufacturing R&D capabilities could help develop the company’s innovative reactor and reduce costs in production.

NuScale’s Power Module is a 50MWe pressurised water reactor and generator, designed to be deployed in clusters of up to 12 per site. The combined containment vessel and reactor system measures around 25 metres in length by five metres diameter, small enough to be transported by a single lorry, and features state-of-the-art passive safety systems which significantly reduce risks associated with current reactor designs.

The new agreement signed by Dr Reyes and Nuclear AMRC chief executive Mike Tynan opens the way for potential collaboration on the development and manufacture of the NuScale technology. During their tour of the Nuclear AMRC’s research factory, the NuScale team found out about the centre’s research and capabilities in areas such as electron beam welding, diode laser cladding and very large high-precision machining.

NuScale signingMike Tynan said: “The work underway here at the Nuclear AMRC is founded upon the strong relationships we have with universities, UK industry, UK government and nuclear technology developers around the world. Our discussions with NuScale Power are part of our continuing support to the diverse technology base for civil nuclear power in the UK and we look forward to the potential development of SMR technology for the UK.”

NuScale’s visit to the Nuclear AMRC was part of a week-long programme of engagements with key UK nuclear engineering facilities.

Dr Jose Reyes said: “Given the UK’s engineering and skills base, working with British organisations is vitally important for NuScale as we move towards our first commercial power station. This week is about developing the basis for future commercial collaboration between NuScale Power and key British nuclear engineering players. It’s also about ensuring that tomorrow’s nuclear engineers, whether in Sheffield or Oregon, get the training opportunities they need to help build the advanced, clean energy technologies of the future.”

NuScale seminarDuring his visit, Dr Reyes led a seminar on the NuScale design for an audience of local manufacturers and engineers at the AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre .

Dr Reyes also announced details of the new internship programme with the University of Sheffield, which will allow up to five Sheffield students to spend a summer at the company’s operational facilities in Corvallis, Oregon, and at Oregon State University. The programme will begin in summer 2015.

The Nuclear AMRC has also signed a new agreement with engineering consultancy Atkins on nuclear industry R&D and supply chain support, which will potentially include collaboration on SMR development projects.




Nuclear AMRC and Atkins sign collaborative agreement

The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and leading engineering consultancy Atkins have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together on nuclear industry research & development and on support and training for the UK’s civil nuclear supply chain.

Atkins signingThe MOU was signed by Mike Tynan, chief executive of the Nuclear AMRC, and Chris Ball, managing director for nuclear at Atkins. It confirms that the two organisations will work together for mutual benefit in areas relating to nuclear research & development, UK civil nuclear supply chain development, and the provision of effective support to the UK civil nuclear industry. Both groups will contribute expertise, experience and knowhow to their shared aims.

Atkins commits to being an active supporter of the Nuclear AMRC, including joint reviews of opportunities for UK suppliers in nuclear new build, decommissioning and operations, and will seek to identify opportunities for the Nuclear AMRC to add value to Atkins’ delivery of commercial work.

The Nuclear AMRC will involve Atkins in key areas of its manufacturing R&D including small modular and micro reactors, fuel cycle and waste treatment/management activities. The Nuclear AMRC has also signed a new collaborative agreement with small modular reactor developer NuScale.

Atkins workshopMike Tynan, Nuclear AMRC chief executive, commented: “I am delighted to sign a collaboration agreement with Atkins, a successful, experienced and innovative company in the global civil nuclear marketplace. Both of our organisations are committed to excellence in the nuclear industry and are determined to drive a new era of civil nuclear power for the UK. We share a particular interest in the development of the UK civil nuclear supply chain, skills for the future and economic value for the UK through the creation of value in the civil nuclear programme. I look forward to working with Chris Ball and his nuclear team at Atkins.”

Chris Ball, managing director of Atkins’ nuclear business, said: “Atkins and the Nuclear AMRC share the spirit of innovation, collaboration and excellence, and we are looking forward to working together. This is a very exciting time for the nuclear industry in the UK and internationally, and by working closely on pioneering projects with partners like Nuclear AMRC, we’re making a real difference to civil nuclear power in the UK.”

Atkins is one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 17,400 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. Nuclear energy sector projects include:

  • UK nuclear generation – part of the Strategic Supply Chain Partnership for EDF Energy’s Nuclear Generation business providing additional expert engineering support as the company seeks to extend the life of its existing nuclear AGR fleet.
  • UK new nuclear programme – working collaboratively with Horizon Nuclear Power providing engineering and related technical services for a new generation of nuclear power stations at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
  • Nuclear decommissioning – currently preferred bidder on a new contract with Sellafield Ltd for its Silos Direct-encapsulation Plant (SDP) project in the UK, as part of an equal three-way joint venture with Areva and Mace (a.m.a.).
  • UAE’s peaceful nuclear new build programme – providing technical assurance to lenders backing the United Arab Emirates’ most ambitious energy infrastructure projects.



#Nuclear – Powering the UK

4 December, London.

NIA Dec14For 13 years, the Nuclear Industry Association’??s Energy Choices conference has showcased the valuable contribution nuclear power provides to the UK.

From new build and power generation to decommissioning and safe storage, the nuclear life cycle provides a wide variety of jobs, a reliable source of energy and a dependable stream of work for businesses small and large, benefitting the UK economy as a whole.

Following on from the successes of Energy Choices the NIA is rebranding the conference in 2014. #Nuclear will see speakers and panellists from across industry, government and beyond, presenting updates from civil nuclear alongside in-depth discussions of developments throughout the year.

For more information, visit #Nuclear at the NIA website.

NuScale SMR design

Wednesday 19 November, AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre.

NuScale eventThe Nuclear AMRC hosts an afternoon seminar with NuScale Power, focusing on the challenges and opportunities of small modular reactors (SMRs).

SMRs are a potential next stage in the evolution of reactor technology. According to speakers at a recent Nuclear Institute conference, SMRs offer the UK the opportunity to take a global lead in reactor technology and nuclear manufacturing – for more information, download our latest newsletter (pdf).

Because SMRs are designed to be largely built in a factory, their development and economic viability will depend on the capabilities of manufacturers along the supply chain.

NuScale is one of the most advanced SMR developers, and we are delighted to welcome the company’s chief technology officer, Dr Jose Reyes, to the Nuclear AMRC to discuss its design and plans.

Dr Reyes will provide an insightful look at the technology behind the NuScale Power Module design, and discuss the challenges and potential benefits of SMR development. There will also be an audience Q&A and networking opportunities.

For more information, download the invitation (pdf). To reserve your place, email

World-leading machine tools open for business

VTL insideThe Nuclear AMRC’s newest and largest machining centres are now available for collaborative R&D, after almost a year of groundwork, installation and commissioning.

The two machines offer UK manufacturers the ability to develop new machining techniques for very large precision components.

Like all the Nuclear AMRC’s workshop resources, they are available for UK companies to use in collaborative R&D to expand their manufacturing capabilities.

The largest machine by area is a Soraluce FX12000 floor-type horizontal milling and boring centre. The Soraluce is capable of working on parts such as decommissioning waste flasks, pumps, valves, offshore wind turbine hubs and sub-sea components for oil and gas. The machine can complete five-sided machining of complex parts in a single set-up, on parts of up to 12 metres in length and five metres diameter.

Soraluce“The Soraluce’s multiple head-changing capability allows us to undertake the most demanding machining tasks across all sectors,” says the Nuclear AMRC’s head of machining, Jay Shaw. “And with a working envelope roughly the size of a double-decker bus, we think it’s the biggest machine tool available anywhere in the world for research.”

Alongside the Soraluce is a Dörries Contumat vertical turning/milling lathe (VTL), capable of working on parts of up to five metres diameter and three metres height. It offers full turning, milling and deep hole drilling capabilities for the largest high-value components for the nuclear industry, including full-scale reactor internal parts, as well as offshore well heads and wind turbine hub connectors. The VTL is funded by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Dorries VTL“The VTL offers unrivalled turning capabilities, but also offers full gantry milling capabilities with five metres of Y-axis travel and a 37kW milling spindle with a multiple head changer,” says Shaw. “Again, these are unique capabilities for a research centre anywhere in the world.

“Both these machines are ready and waiting for manufacturers who want to see what they can do.”

Parts machined on the new centres can be verified in-house on one of the largest gantry-type coordinate measuring machines available. The Hexagon DEA Delta is capable of measuring parts of six metres length and three metres width, and weighing up to 15 tonnes. From November, it will be housed in a new vibration-proofed and temperature-controlled CMM extension to the main Nuclear AMRC workshop, allowing it to work to maximum precision.


Small manufacturers urged to get Fit For Nuclear

The Nuclear AMRC has joined forces with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to help more than 300 small manufacturers prepare to seize the opportunities of the UK’s rapidly developing £60 billion civil nuclear new build sector and £1.5 billion a year decommissioning programme.

F4N MASFit for Nuclear (F4N) lets companies measure their capabilities against industry standards and helps them bridge any gaps to meet nuclear industry requirements. Backed by top tier partners including Areva and EDF Energy, the initiative offers a business improvement journey that will identify strategy, implement new processes, secure necessary accreditations and provide supplier matching opportunities.

For the first time, F4N is also offering participating SMEs the chance to apply for match funding for business improvement or R&D projects.

“There is great potential for advanced manufacturing SMEs to build business in the civil nuclear sector,” says Steven Barr, head of MAS. “Following approval for Hinkley Point, we can expect these opportunities to increase in new build, as well as in decommissioning and existing station maintenance.

“We recognise they need help to understand the nature of the opportunities that are opening up and to prepare for them.”

To date, around 150 companies have completed the online Fit for Nuclear assessment, with the majority receiving ongoing support and development from the Nuclear AMRC team.

New funding from the government’s Regional Growth Fund, through the civil nuclear Sharing in Growth programme, has opened the initiative to another 300 SMEs. MAS will help the Nuclear AMRC engage the wider manufacturing supply chain, including control and instrumentation, electrical and other sub-contractors.

F4N participants can also take advantage of the Nuclear AMRC’s Nuclear Connections initiative, which helps link manufacturers to specific supply opportunities from the industry’s top tiers. This is based on a detailed understanding of the production capabilities of individual companies and matching these to current and upcoming tenders, including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estate.

“At little or no cost to the participating company, F4N can deliver real business value regardless of your current nuclear sector knowledge or experience,” says Martin Ride, an experienced purchasing manager with Rolls-Royce, now working as supply chain consultant at the Nuclear AMRC.

“This is one of the easiest and most straightforward sector-based programmes to access, participate in, and get incredible value from, and which can lead to increased opportunities.”

The Fit for Nuclear journey starts with a capability questionnaire and online assessment, which will then be followed by a site visit from a dedicated F4N assessor.

They assessor will help the company develop an action plan that will be verified by industry experts. A nuclear specialist will then work with the company to ensure they’re in the best position to win work.

Any English SME can apply for match funding, subject to reaching the required stage in the Fit for Nuclear journey, with the average grant expected to be around £10,000.

“The first new nuclear plant is likely to come online in the 2020s, but orders for the bulk of plant and services are expected to start developing from next year,” Barr concludes. “Now is the time for small manufacturers to act.”

Hinkley Point C clears state aid challenge

EDF Energy has cleared a major hurdle for its proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, after the European Commission approved the UK government’s plans to support its construction and operation.

HPC from sea

The Nuclear AMRC welcomed the news as a significant step forward in the UK’s new build programme.

“This will allow EDF to move forward in considering its final investment decision on Hinkley Point C,” said Stuart Harrison, Nuclear AMRC business development director. “This is a significant decision to give confidence to the nuclear new build market, and has been welcomed by the other developers. This will also be welcome news for the UK supply chain as another move closer to the issuing of contracts for supply against which they can compete. We will continue to work with EDF Energy and its suppliers to identify opportunities for UK content into Hinkley Point C.”

The European Commission review focused on the commercial terms agreed by EDF and the UK government last October, under which electricity from Hinkley Point C will receive a guaranteed strike price under the contract for difference (CFD) regime, to make sure that they were permissible under the strict rules on state aid for commercial ventures.

During the review, the government agreed to modify the terms of the project financing to preserve competition in the energy market. Ultimately, the state aid examiners were satisfied that the support was necessary to address a genuine market failure.

Commissioner for competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: “After the Commission’s intervention, the UK measures in favour of Hinkley Point nuclear power station have been significantly modified, limiting any distortions of competition in the Single Market. These modifications will also achieve significant savings for UK taxpayers. On this basis and after a thorough investigation, the Commission can now conclude that the support is compatible with EU state aid rules.”

The revised terms include an increased initial guarantee fee to be paid by EDF to the UK Treasury, which will reduce the subsidy by over £1 billion; and a new mechanism to share the profits of the project with UK taxpayers. Once EDF’s return on equity exceeds an agreed level, any further gain will be shared with the Treasury through a reduction of the strike price. The strike price will be reduced further if profits exceed a second higher threshold.

This gain-share mechanism will last for the entire 60-year lifetime of Hinkley Point C. Any savings in construction costs will also be shared with the Treasury.

According to the Commission announcement, Hinkley Point C will have a capital cost of about £34 billion including £24.5 billion construction costs, and require debt financing of £17 billion.

EDF Energy executives, speaking at the group’s supply chain conference at the Nuclear AMRC earlier this year, identified the state aid review as the main challenge for its new build programme.

EDF chairman and CEO Henri Proglio hailed the decision as a major milestone for Hinkley Point C. “Now EDF and partners have to finalise the agreements needed to reach a final investment decision,” he said. “Building EPR reactors in the UK will provide huge benefits for both countries in terms of job opportunities, economic growth and skills, further strengthening France and United Kingdom fruitful partnership.”

The UK’s other new build groups also welcomed the decision. “This ruling is a huge boost for the UK nuclear new build programme which demonstrates the robustness of the model the UK government has put in place to bring forward low carbon investment and underlines the attractiveness of the UK market for new nuclear,” said Alan Raymant, chief operating officer for Horizon Nuclear Power, which has recently launched a public consultation for Wyfla Newydd. “As the next UK developer in line, we take great confidence from the decision.”

NuGen said that it was given confidence in taking forward its plans for the Moorside project. Both groups will have to undergo a similar state aid review as and when they strike CFD agreements with the UK government.

Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said the UK’s strategy for electricity market reform was an innovative approach to encourage investment in a deregulated market. “The decision will be welcome by all those planning new nuclear build projects in the EU and similar markets,” she said.

Oil & gas showcase

27 November, AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre.

Mazak internalThe Nuclear AMRC with partners Mazak and Sandvik Coromant invite companies to see the state of the art in large-scale high-precision manufacturing for the oil & gas sector.

Many of the Nuclear AMRC’s capabilities and production-scale facilities are ideal for addressing manufacturing challenges in oil & gas. Our engineers and researchers are working with technology providers including Mazak and Sandvik Coromant to develop new tools and techniques for the most demanding applications.

This exclusive showcase event will include presentations from some of the most innovative manufacturers and technology providers in the oil & gas sector, including Siemens and Plexus.

Delegates can also see the latest equipment in action in the Nuclear AMRC’s production-scale workshop:

  • Mazak Orbitec 20, offering unique turning and facing capabilities for irregular parts.
  • Some of the world’s largest R&D machine tools, including vertical turning/milling lathe, horizontal boring and deep-hole drilling centres.
  • 15kW diode laser cladding cell.
  • Hot isostatic pressing facility.
  • Electron beam welding chamber.
  • Large-volume metrology.

For more information, download the flyer (pdf).

Places are limited and filling fast. Register now at: