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Event highlights new civil nuclear manufacturing opportunities

posted 8 Jun 2010, 03:37 by RiDO Rotherham
Over 100 delegates from around the country attended a recent event in Rotherham which highlighted the opportunities which the UK’s new civil nuclear build programme may present to the countries’ manufacturing businesses.

Interest in the Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF) event, hosted in association with the Sheffield Region: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials team was such that the event was held at the AMP Technology Centre. 

Speakers including David Powell of Westinghouse Electric Company, Graham Honeyman of Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd, and Kevin Parkin of Davy Markham Ltd outlined the potential prospects arising from the planned programme, and what elements are required to achieve this potential. 

UK manufacturers have a unique opportunity to put themselves at the forefront of the global nuclear industry, according to keynote speaker David Powell, head of customer relations for reactor provider Westinghouse UK.

Global nuclear capacity is expected to reach 1280GWe by 2050 from 372GWe today, Powell noted. "The UK has the opportunity to really benefit from being at the start of this," he said. "We want to find the best ways of working with the UK supply chain, which is already strongly engaged with meeting our global needs."

Westinghouse aims to have the first of its AP1000 reactors operational in the UK by 2020. "We buy where we build, and will do the same in the UK," Powell said. "By the fifth AP1000 unit, we expect that over 70 per cent of what we need will be coming from the UK."

Denzil Lawrence from the AMRC with Boeing which runs the AMF events was pleased with the attendance, saying;

“The AMF events generally attract a good number of delegates but this time we’ve exceeded our expectations. There are some potentially large opportunities for UK manufacturers to benefit from the planned new build programme, and it’s clear that the forward thinking companies are already looking to learn more about how they could gain from those opportunities.”

Anthony Cundall from the Sheffield Region: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials project team added; 

“The announcement that the Sheffield Region will be home to two groundbreaking research and engineering plants for the new civil nuclear manufacturing industry has further cemented the region’s position as a key location for future civil nuclear developments.

“The new £25m Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) at the AMP, and a Rolls Royce component manufacturing, assembly and testing facility add to an existing array of expertise in the civil nuclear sector from established companies such as Sheffield Forgemasters, Davy Markham, Technicut and Newburgh Engineering Ltd. It is therefore fitting that we should hold an event of such importance in the region.”