Assystem and the Nuclear AMRC have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on joint research projects involving advanced modular reactors, including small modular reactors, and other innovative nuclear technologies.
The agreement expresses the common intention to collaborate on research related to improving the cost effectiveness, safety and supportability of future nuclear plants. This will include Assystem and Nuclear AMRC combining cutting-edge digital design and highly advanced manufacturing techniques.
Assystem, one of the top three nuclear engineering companies worldwide, brings over 50 years’ experience across nuclear power plant design, build, operation and support, and works with a range of OEMs, constructors and operators.
The Nuclear AMRC, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, combines the knowledge, practices and expertise of manufacturing companies with the capability of universities. Since its launch in 2012, it has developed and consolidated its position at the heart of the UK’s civil nuclear manufacturing industry.
Assystem and the Nuclear AMRC believe that advanced modular reactors (AMRs) have the potential to make a big impact on the future of energy production in the UK and globally. The joint research programme will initially focus on exploring the synergies between Assystem’s capabilities in advanced systems engineering and digital asset management, and Nuclear AMRC’s research into novel manufacturing technologies.
It is expected that a cross-fertilization between the two entities will create a new body of knowledge that will attract young talents in the nuclear industry and accelerate the development of the AMR business. The projects will consider how improvements can be delivered at the system level as well at the component level.
The agreement commences on 27 June 2018 and continues for five years.
Robert Plana, Assystem’s chief technical officer, said: “We are proud to be contributing to the future of the nuclear industry. Our commitment to participate in research is a clear fit with Assystem’s nuclear development strategy in the UK, France and internationally. The agreement we have signed strengthens our position in the worldwide nuclear industry and opens up new opportunities for working with other key players in the industry.”
Professor Steve Jones, the Nuclear AMRC’s chief technology officer, said: “We are delighted to work with Assystem to support the design and manufacture of a new generation of nuclear plants. New reactor designs present a great opportunity to use advanced manufacturing technologies to reduce cost and ensure construction to schedule, while sustaining the highest integrity and safety levels demanded within our industry. Combining our knowledge and capabilities will underpin and accelerate the innovative technology themes we are already working in that encompass joining, machining, modularisation and inspection.”