NIP advanced manufacturing and materials seminar

16 January 2019, AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre.

The Nuclear AMRC invites you to explore the latest cutting-edge research into manufacturing techniques and materials for a new generation of nuclear power.

The UK Nuclear Innovation Programme (NIP) is supported by industry, academia and research centres, and backed by government. It involves a series of collaborative projects, led by leading UK companies and research centres, to deliver the most innovative solutions to meet the needs of the UK nuclear industry in six broad areas.

This exclusive seminar features presentations from projects in the advanced manufacturing and materials area, with speakers from Cammell Laird, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Wood, UKAEA and Nuclear AMRC, plus an introduction from the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office. Topics range from nano–structured metals which could extend the life of reactors, to integrated tooling and intelligent fixturing which could halve the cost of producing large assemblies.

Download the flyer for more details, including agenda and speakers.

To register, go to:

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.

Business secretary hails new generation of power

Business secretary Greg Clark MP visited the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to see the centre’s work in supporting the next generation of nuclear power and delivering the nuclear sector deal.

During a tour of the Nuclear AMRC workshop, Clark saw a range of advanced machining, joining and robotic technologies which can significantly increase productivity in the manufacture of a new generation of small and advanced modular reactors.

“This cutting-edge facility in Sheffield is pioneering innovative nuclear technology of the future, as the UK continues to seize the opportunities of moving to a greener, cleaner economy through our modern industrial strategy,” Clark said.

“The UK was the first domestic nuclear power country in the world and this government commissioned the first new nuclear power station in over a generation. The development of small modular reactors as part of our landmark £200 million nuclear sector deal could unlock more jobs and more local growth.”

Published in June, the nuclear sector deal supports a variety of initiatives to create a more competitive supply chain, using advanced manufacturing technologies to win work in the UK and worldwide. In return for funding support of up to £200 million total, the industry has committed to significantly reducing costs in nuclear new build and decommissioning, and growing the pool of skilled employees by improving gender diversity.

During his visit on 25 October, Clark was shown workpieces from an ongoing project to reduce production time for a small modular reactor pressure vessel. These include pressure vessel sections (above) which have been joined by electron beam welding, a technique highlighted in the sector deal as offering significant productivity and quality improvements by reducing weld cycle times from days to hours.

“The Nuclear AMRC is playing a vital role in delivering advanced manufacturing techniques and developing the supply chain for the nuclear industry,” commented chief executive officer Andrew Storer. “I was delighted to show the Secretary of State some of our world-leading capabilities for industry-led research and development, which are part of the key to achieving the ambitious targets of winning work in the UK and overseas in the nuclear sector deal.”

Clark and Storer also discussed the centre’s work to improve the competitiveness of the UK supply chain, including proposals to expand and develop the established Fit For Nuclear (F4N) programme. Around 1,000 companies have already engaged with the programme, with 145 now granted F4N status after driving business improvements with support from the Nuclear AMRC.

An expanded national supply chain development programme, backed by the nuclear sector deal and linked to advanced manufacturing and construction R&D, could create or sustain up to 12,500 jobs and up to £2 billion domestic and international contract wins by 2030.

“Our supply chain development programme has already helped hundreds of companies become more competitive, and we’re planning to expand that to help even more companies win work in nuclear,” Storer noted.

Clark also met some of the centre’s young engineers and apprentices during his visit.

“Diversity is a really important and provides confidence that we are developing scientists and manufacturers for the future,” Storer said. “I was really pleased to introduce our apprentices and allow them to explain what they aspire to become.”

NDA Estate Supply Chain Event

Thursday 1 November, Manchester.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and its site licence companies present their eighth annual supply chain event.

The 2018 NDA estate supply chain event aims to highlight opportunities along the supply chain, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, and will include presentations from the NDA, site licence companies and key government speakers.

The Nuclear AMRC will be exhibiting on stand P12, with our business development team and Fit For Nuclear industrial advisors on hand to discuss how we can help you achieve your ambitions.

NDA logo

Last year’s showcase event attracted around 1,600 delegates, providing opportunities to network with more than 300 exhibiting companies. The event also aims to attract new businesses, particularly SMEs, to the nuclear decommissioning sector.

Registration is free. For more information, go to:

See our nuclear decommissioning intelligence page for more information on the opportunities for manufacturers.

DIT nuclear events

October 2018.

The Department for International Trade is inviting UK manufacturers to join a series of upcoming nuclear industry events and missions. The events offer a great way to find out more about export opportunities and make new contacts in key nuclear markets across Europe.

The events include:

Click the links to download full information from DIT.


Disk laser cell open day

2 October 2018, Rotherham.

The Nuclear AMRC, Cyan Tec Systems and Trumpf invite industry to discover the latest advances in welding technology and explore a state-of-the-art 16kW laser cell.

The Nuclear AMRC is leading research in high-performance welding techniques for the most demanding industries. The centre recently invested in a 16kW disk laser system designed and built by Loughborough-based Cyan Tec Systems, a robotic and laser specialist providing advanced manufacturing systems across a diverse range of high-tech sectors including nuclear, aerospace and automotive.

The system includes a high-tech Trumpf 16kW solid state disk laser, which minimises heat distortion and thermal stress to achieve high-quality welds for stainless steel, aluminium, titanium and alloy products. The Cyan Tec laser cell at the Nuclear AMRC is now driving forward advanced welding applications in industries including nuclear, marine and aerospace.

The open day offers the opportunity to learn about the latest advanced welding techniques, talk to Cyan Tec engineers and Nuclear AMRC researchers, and see the disk laser cell in action.

This event onTuesday 2 October is designed for manufacturers who are considering incorporating advanced laser solutions into production lines, as well as nuclear decommissioning organisations who could benefit from the latest advances in laser technology.

The open day is free to attend for relevant businesses, but numbers are limited. Please register now for either the morning session (9.30–12.30) or afternoon session (1–3.30) to ensure your place.

Rahul enters Great British Bake Off

An engineering researcher at the Nuclear AMRC is taking part in The Great British Bake Off.

Dr Rahul Mandal, a research associate specialising in light-based measurement of engineered components, started baking cakes for colleagues at the Nuclear AMRC only two years ago. He is now a contestant in the 2018 series of the hit baking competition, broadcast on Channel 4 from 28 August.

Born in India, Rahul came to the UK in 2010 on a scholarship to study for his PhD in optical metrology at Loughborough University. He joined the Nuclear AMRC in 2015, to develop innovative automated techniques for inspecting components for any contamination or flaw. “It’s all about measuring things with light,” he says.

Rahul has expanded his research skills, and now works with other light-based measurement technologies including confocal microscopy and interferometry for weld inspection.

Five-year funding for HVM Catapult

The government has confirmed ongoing funding for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult network of industry-led research centres, including the Nuclear AMRC.

The HVM Catapult consists of seven specialised R&D centres, and aims to improve the UK’s performance in translating the strengths of its world leading research base into the goods and processes which equip the UK’s high value manufacturers for success in challenging global markets.

Dick Elsy, chief executive officer of the HVM Catapult, said: “The HVM Catapult is perfectly placed to make a full contribution to a successful UK industrial strategy. In our first six years of operation we have established a proven track record, generating investment in R&D and driving improvements in manufacturing productivity and competitiveness. The five-year funding package announced today allows us to build on our early successes, broadening our productivity impacts while equipping British firms with the manufacturing innovation they need to compete in uncertain and challenging international markets. Our support has never been more needed.”

The Nuclear AMRC will receive around £46 million funding over the next five years. The funding will allow the centre to expand its services to UK manufacturers, and develop new capabilities at its research factory on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, as well as its specialist R&D facilities in Birkenhead and Derby.

“Our Catapult funding gives us a secure base to expand our services to UK manufacturers, and work with even more companies to help them innovate and compete,” said Andrew Storer, chief executive officer of the Nuclear AMRC. “We are set to play a key role in delivering the nuclear sector deal agreed by government and industry earlier this summer, and are investing in our facilities in Rotherham, Birkenhead and Derby to help UK manufacturers win work in the nuclear supply chain at home and worldwide.”

Its sister centre at the University of Sheffield, the original Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), will receive around £81 million funding over five years. Since its launch in 2001, the AMRC has expanded to include three research facilities at the Advanced Manufacturing Park and Sheffield Business Park, and is now establishing new regional facilities in the North West and Wales.

Professor Keith Ridgway, executive dean for the two centres, said: “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in the work we do with our industrial partners, and another significant boost for the Sheffield City Region and its emerging Global Innovation Corridor.

“As members of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, we are part of a larger network of research and innovation assets that are helping to solve the conundrum of the UK’s productivity challenge. Our ability to draw on the research excellence of the University of Sheffield also gives us an additional edge. It means we are able to connect fundamental and basic science to translational research that makes a bigger impact on the factory floor.

“The new money will enable us to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies across advanced manufacturing, in line with the Industrial Strategy and Juergen Maier’s Made Smarter Review. It shows joined up thinking at the heart of government and a determination to rebalance the economy with advanced manufacturing at its heart, supported by some of the best researchers in the world: here in the Sheffield City Region.”

Under the Catapult funding model, each centre will match its core funding with commercial investment from companies which work with the centres to develop innovative technologies and improve their competitiveness, and from externally-funded collaborative R&D projects.

The funding is part of a £780 million investment across the Catapult network of technology and innovation centres. The funding was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, during a visit to another of the centres within the HVM Catapult.

“It is by backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future,” Hammond said. “Today’s £780 million investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need.”

The £780 million investment also includes funding for Catapults focusing on technology areas including Energy Systems, Offshore Renewable Energy, Cell & Gene Therapy, Satellite Applications, and Compound Semiconductors.