Up to £13 million for new nuclear technologies
As the nuclear renaissance gathers pace, the NDA has again joined with other public bodies to open up opportunities for UK businesses, offering a total of up to £13 million investment for new technologies covering new build, current operations and decommissioning.
The collaboration between the UK innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board, the NDA and the Department of Energy and Climate Change is aimed at helping UK-based businesses take advantage of the opportunities arising following the recent agreement on Hinkley Point C, the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for almost 20 years.
The funds will be made available early in 2014 as part of a drive to grow a robust, sustainable UK supply chain through the development of innovative products and services for the nuclear sector. The initiative will focus on key technology areas such as construction, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and decommissioning and waste.
Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said:
“We are committed to nuclear power as part of the low carbon mix of our future energy supply. And through our nuclear industrial strategy we are working in partnership with industry to grasp the multi billion pound long-term opportunities for UK companies and for thousands of highly skilled jobs.
“This funding will help UK companies to compete for contracts in areas like construction, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and decommissioning and waste. We want to build a robust UK based supply chain for existing and future nuclear power stations.”
Melanie Brownridge, the NDA’s Head of Research and Development, said:
“This continues a collaborative drive initiated more than 18 months ago that is already delivering significant innovative technological progress. We rely on a vibrant, dynamic supply chain and are pleased to invest in future capability.”
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added:
“This country has strengths in a wide range of technologies that will contribute to our growing domestic civil nuclear programme as well as taking advantage of significant global market opportunities. We will be focussing our support to ensure that UK businesses have the opportunity to engage fully in these programmes.”
In 2012, £18 million was invested in nuclear Research and Development through a partnership between the TSB, NDA, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The 35 projects, which received funding following a competitive submission process are ongoing and include a wide range of innovative UK SMEs, large businesses and research institutes.
The new competition will focus on the technologies needed for Britain’s new fleet of power stations, but will also include further opportunities for developing innovation for existing stations and decommissioning programmes.
Further details will be announced in the New Year.