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Industry News


NDA PUBLISHES PREFERRED OPTION ON OXIDE FUELS


Through publication of its Preferred Option paper, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has now completed its strategic review of the options for the management of oxide fuels.


Oxide fuels include the remaining overseas-derived spent fuels that are being stored at Sellafield pending reprocessing in THORP (thermal oxide reprocessing plant) and also the spent fuels coming from the UK’s fleet of advanced cooled-gas reactor (AGR) power stations, owned and operated by EDF Energy.


The strategic review confirms the NDA’s position that completing the reprocessing contracts at THORP remains a viable and cost-effective strategy. Any remaining AGR fuel, including any future arisings, will be placed into interim storage pending


a decision to dispose of it in a geological disposal facility.


This will result in the reprocessing contracts being complete by 2018, at which time THORP would cease reprocessing activities and enter a post-closure and clean-out phase prior to decommissioning.


Confirmation of the position concerning the future of THORP means that there is now no safety, operational or strategic requirement to replace the existing HASTs (Highly Active Liquor Storage Tanks) that receive this by-product of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. Therefore, following dialogue between NDA, Sellafield Ltd and regulators, there is now no need to procure the replacement HAST project.


www.nda.gov.uk/news/oxide-fuels- preferred-option.cfm


HIGH VALUE


MANUFACTURING STRATEGY NOW PUBLISHED


The end of May also saw the government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) launch their high value manufacturing (HVM) strategy.


TSB Chief Executive Iain Gray announced the launch at the third National


Manufacturing Debate at Cranfield University, whose theme was ‘Enhancing the Supply Chain for Growth’.


HVM is the application of leading-edge technical knowledge and expertise (including R&D) to the creation of products, production processes and associated services which have strong potential to bring sustainable growth and high economic value to the UK.


£15M FUNDING BOOST FOR NUCLEAR INNOVATION


Sciences Research Council and the Department of Energy and Climate Change:


• Up to £12m for business-led collaborative R&D projects.


• Up to £2m for feasibility studies, which must be collaborative projects led by a small/medium enterprise (SME).


• The remaining £1m for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).


Key dates are as follows:


Up to £15m of investment will support nuclear research and development (R&D) in the supply chain, following a joint initiative by Government organisations.


The announcement was made at the end of May at the ‘Collaboration Nation’ showcase event held at the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) in Rotherham.


The latest investment is being made by the Technology Strategy Board, backed by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Engineering and Physical


10 NuclearCONNECT


• Feasibility studies: registration by 29th August; full applications by 5th September.


• Collaborative R&D: registration by 29th August and expressions of interest by 5th September. Stage 2 for invited applicants opens on 1st October, with a deadline of 14th November.


• Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: completed applications by 4th October.


Please see our full feature on innovation on page 36.


www.innovateuk.org/content/ competition/developing-the-civil- nuclear-power-supply-chain1.ashx


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The strategy draws extensively on the findings of the TSB study, ‘A landscape for the future of UK manufacturing’, carried out by the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and published in February, and is underpinned by the TSB’s corporate strategy ‘Concept to commercialisation’.


The IfM study identified 22 National Competencies for UK manufacturing, grouped around five strategic themes: resource efficiency, manufacturing processes, materials integration, manufacturing systems and business models. These strategic themes offer pivotal opportunities for businesses and will be used to inform the TSB’s investment decisions for HVM over the coming years.


www.innovateuk.org/content/ our-focus-areas/high-value- manufacturing/high-value- manufacturing-strategy-now- published.ashx


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