Boost to UK Nuclear Technology R&D

Source:

"Predicted resurgence in nuclear power over the next 20 years."

The UK government will provide £2 million ($3.2M) to help fund 20 feasibility studies aimed at stimulating innovation and strengthening the supply chain in nuclear R&D.

Funds will be provided through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), set up by the government to promote and support research, development and exploitation of technology and innovation. It is sponsored by the BIS.

The TSB launched a competition for R&D funding in June. Then, it said, "This competition encourages businesses not currently working in the nuclear sector to explore opportunities that the predicted global civil nuclear resurgence presents. It will also allow the existing supply chain to engage with innovative technology providers and explore opportunities for growth." The TSB selected the winning applicants in August.

The feasibility studies selected, the TSB said: "Will address a wide range of challenges, from non-destructive testing, waste handling and condition monitoring to materials modeling, advanced manufacture and maintenance technologies and construction methods."

One of the studies selected addresses the feasibility of developing a design standard for steel-concrete-steel modular construction structures for use in nuclear applications. Another will study the feasibility of using snake-arm robots and fiber lasers in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

The TSB noted that all the studies—lasting between 6 and 12 months—are "industry-led, many having small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as project leader or as a major contributor." It added: "The studies will assist UK businesses in developing technologies to support the civil nuclear industry, while strengthening the supply chain."

The TSB says: "With a global market valued at around £600 billion ($950B) for new nuclear power installations and £250 billion ($396B) for decommissioning, waste treatment and disposal, the predicted resurgence in nuclear power over the next 20 years should lead to significant global opportunities for British businesses in nuclear engineering. . ."

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