Amec Foster Wheeler to lead nuclear research project

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Amec Foster Wheeler appointed to lead nuclear power research programme

Nuclear fuel rods
Nuclear fuel rods

Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded £2.9m by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to establish and manage the UK Digital Reactor Design partnership.

The partnership will use virtual engineering and high-performance computing to enhance the techniques used to design reactors and optimise their performance.

The project is part of a broader effort to put UK industry at the forefront of developing Generation IV and small modular reactors. The aim is to achieve a step change in the way that nuclear design, development and construction programmes are delivered.

Partners on the project include Liverpool University’s Virtual Engineering Centre, the Hartree Centre, National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, EDF Energy, Cambridge University, and Imperial College London.

This contract follows the recent award by Innovate UK to carry out research into manufacturing and materials technologies for the civil nuclear sector. The company will be working closely with Manchester University and Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on themes relating to nuclear structural materials and design codes and standards.

Prof Eann Patterson, from Liverpool University, who is lead academic for the project, said: “We see the Digital Reactor Design programme as the first stage in transforming the way that the UK Nuclear industry will design and build new facilities and strengthen capabilities across the sector for the future.”

In March 2017, Aberdeen-based Wood Group announced that it was to merge with AMEC Foster Wheeler in a deal worth £5bn. The combined entity would provide services to the oil and gas, other energy, chemicals, and mining industries.