The Nuclear AMRC’s modular manufacturing research group is moving to a new home hosted by member company Jacobs at one of the UK’s biggest nuclear industry clusters.
Jacobs is providing engineering testing, workshop and office space at its Birchwood Park facility, near Warrington, as part of its membership of the Nuclear AMRC.
Modular manufacturing involves fabricating large-scale complex systems in factories under controlled conditions, then transporting them to site for final installation and assembly.
Previously based in Birkenhead, the Nuclear AMRC modules group is adapting techniques used in shipbuilding, aerospace and other sectors for use across the nuclear sector. The team tackles challenges in modular design and manufacturing for new reactors of all sizes, as well as the challenges of decommissioning and waste management.
Andrew Storer, CEO of the centre said:
“Being able to work so closely with Jacobs, with its many years of experience across the nuclear sector, will bring major benefits to the Nuclear AMRC. The new facility will allow us to build on the capabilities we developed at our pilot modularisation facility in Birkenhead, and provide increased support throughout the modular design process. Our engineers and researchers will work with industrial partners to develop new capabilities for the construction, operations and maintenance of modular reactor systems, and explore how modular principles can be delivered to support the next generation of power plants for both fission and fusion.”
The Nuclear AMRC modules facility offers a growing selection of specialised machining, joining and assembly equipment to develop and prove modular manufacturing techniques for nuclear applications, including additive manufacturing and visualisation technologies to support modular design.
The Nuclear AMRC will also be able to work closely with Jacobs’ materials and structural integrity teams and facilities at Birchwood Park to help prove the machining and joining technologies being developed at its other facilities, and make sure that components produced in new materials or by innovative manufacturing processes can perform under the extreme conditions experienced within a reactor system.
Jacobs joined the Nuclear AMRC as a tier one member in August 2021 to help drive innovation in advanced nuclear technologies. With operations in more than 50 countries, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the public and private sector.
Jacobs Energy Security & Technology Vice President Martin Hinton said:
“Hosting and assisting Nuclear AMRC’s modular manufacturing research group will help us to remain at the forefront of the development of new reactors and new techniques for nuclear decommissioning, enabling us to better serve our clients,”
At Birchwood Park, Jacobs operates 12,000m² of laboratories and test rigs, the UK’s largest independent complex of its kind serving the nuclear sector, employing more than 700 technical experts and practitioners with world class expertise in materials, chemistry and structural integrity and advanced capability in robotics and remote operations.
Birchwood near Warrington is one of the UK’s largest clusters of the nuclear industry, with Jacobs as the largest tenant. Other tenants include Sellafield Ltd, Rolls-Royce, National Nuclear Laboratory and Cavendish Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin, Orano, Nuvia and a wide range of SMEs.
“Being part of one of the UK’s largest nuclear hubs is going to be crucial for the Nuclear AMRC, especially our supply chain programmes,” Storer notes. “Birchwood Park is the place to be for the nuclear supply chain, as the only major hub for the sector that’s independent of any one organisation or technology.”
Notes to Editors
At Jacobs, we’re challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world’s most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. With $14 billion in revenue and a talent force of approximately 55,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector.
In the nuclear sector, Jacobs delivers industry-leading research, engineering, project management, asset management, and consultancy services. Clients include Électricité de France, UK Atomic Energy Authority, National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield Ltd, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Rolls-Royce Plc, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Electric Power Research Institute (of the US), the US Department of Energy, ITER Organisation and the European Union.
As well as helping to bring large scale nuclear projects to fruition in the UK, the Middle East and Poland, our technical knowledge and heritage puts us at the forefront of a range of nuclear technologies which have an important role to play in energy transition. These include fusion power, where we are designing technology and managing construction for ITER and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and small modular reactors, where we are leading on electrical control and instrumentation and materials science for the Rolls-Royce SMR.
A world leader in nuclear decommissioning, Jacobs is engineering design partner to Sellafield Ltd, operator of the UK’s most complex nuclear site, and is leading the environmental remediation of several of the US Department of Energy’s clean-up sites.
The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre helps UK manufacturers win work in the nuclear sector – in new build, operations and decommissioning.
The Nuclear AMRC’s engineers and sector specialists work with companies to develop innovative techniques and optimised processes for large-scale high-precision manufacturing, and help UK manufacturers compete globally by raising quality, capability and productivity.
The Nuclear AMRC is based at the University of Sheffield, and part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a national alliance of seven leading manufacturing research centres funded by Innovate UK.