At present only Japan has the capability to produce reactor pressure vessels and other ultra-large forgings. The loan is part of a wider strategy to develop the UK’s civil nuclear supply chain capabilities.
The Government announced the £15m Nuclear Advance Manufacturing Centre (NAMRC), a joint venture between the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing and the University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute, last year, which is already backed by major industry players.
Founding industrial partners include nuclear reactor providers Areva and Westinghouse; power systems provider Rolls-Royce; and steel engineering group Sheffield Forgemasters International with recent endorsement by EDF Energy. Some £8m is to upgrade the nuclear laboratories at Manchester University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute to support NAMRC.
A Nuclear Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) in the North West and Yorkshire, led by North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) in collaboration with Yorkshire Forward.
As part of the Nuclear LCEA, North West will support the Manufacturing Advisory Service’s (MAS) nuclear services as part of the Nuclear LCEA, offering manufacturing companies advice and support to access the nuclear energy market.