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New UK high-temperature research facility planned

08 октября 2015
Новости отрасли

Amec Foster Wheeler has been selected to lead a project to set up a new high-temperature facility in the UK for testing materials used in current and future nuclear reactors. It will be funded by a government research grant.

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issued a call for proposals for a nuclear research and development high-temperature material testing suite in December 2014. This called for a facility (HTF) to test primary and secondary circuit structural component and weld materials at temperatures up to 1000°C in a range of environments representative of future reactor systems, which could include small modular reactors and Generation IV systems.

Amec Foster Wheeler announced today that it had been selected to lead the project to set up the new HTF.

It said the facility will be funded through a £2 million ($3 million) research grant from DECC. The award of the grant followed a competitive bidding round in which Amec Foster Wheeler led a consortium comprising the National Nuclear Laboratory, EDF Energy, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Urenco, the Universities of Manchester, Bristol and Oxford, the Open University, and Imperial College London.

In a statement, Amec Foster Wheeler said the new high-temperature facility “will undertake vital testing work on materials used in current and future nuclear reactors”. As an open access facility, the HTF will be used by organizations in the nuclear industry and by university researchers, it noted.

Greg Willets, consultancy director of Amec Foster Wheeler’s clean energy business, said: “This program will help to re-establish the UK as a major contributor to advanced nuclear reactor technology and play an important part in fulfilling the aims of the UK government’s Nuclear Industrial Strategy”.

The UK government published its Nuclear Industrial Strategy in March 2013. This sets out the government’s “clear expectation that nuclear will play a significant role in the UK energy mix in the future” and outlines the government’s plans to make the UK a leading civil nuclear energy nation. It covers the nuclear energy industry in its entirety, encompassing new build, waste management and decommissioning, fuel cycle services, and operations and maintenance.

Amec Foster Wheeler operates an existing high-temperature facility at its Birchwood, Warrington, site.

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