The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield has agreed new partnerships with US based reactor developer NuScale and engineering consultancy Atkins.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Mike Tynan chief executive at the Nuclear AMRC and Chris Ball managing director for nuclear at Atkins. The agreement will see Atkins work with the Nuclear AMRC on R&D, support and training for the UK’s civil nuclear supply chain. Both parties will contribute their experience, expertise and knowhow on their shared objectives.
The agreement will mean Atkins is committed to supporting the Nuclear AMRC across joint reviews of new build opportunities, decommissioning and operations. In exchange Atkins will seek to identify opportunities for the Nuclear AMRC to add value to its own commercial network. They will have involvement in key areas of Nuclear AMRC’s manufacturing R&D including small modular and micro reactors, fuel cycle and waste treatment/management activities.
Mike Tynan said: "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."
NuScale’s involvement with Nuclear AMRC will be around the development of a ground-breaking small modular reactor. They have also agreed to an internship programme with the University of Sheffield allowing their students to work at NuScale’s research and operational facilities in the US.
NuScale chief technology officer Dr Jose Reyes and executive vice president Tom Mundy visited the Nuclear AMRC on 19th November to review how the centre's manufacturing R&D capabilities could help develop the company's innovative reactor and reduce costs in production.
The new agreement signed by Dr Reyes and Nuclear AMRC opens the way for potential collaboration on the development and manufacture of the NuScale technology.
"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," said Tynan.
"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."
Should these new partnerships bear fruit it will mean significant expansion for the three organisations with some truly exciting opportunities. It could also well pave the way for innovations and new technologies making nuclear power safer and an even more viable option for the nation’s power needs.