Engineering giant Amec Foster Wheeler, which employs more than 1,200 people in the North West, has been appointed by the Government to lead a key nuclear power research programme.
Under a £2.9m contract from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Amec Foster Wheeler will set up and run a UK Digital Reactor Design partnership that 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, which could play a key role in meeting the UK’s future energy needs.
The aim is to achieve a step change in the way that nuclear design, development and construction programmes are delivered.
Amec Foster Wheeler is supported by partners and sub-contractors from industry, academia and science, including the University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre, the Hartree Centre, National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, EDF Energy, the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.
The contract award advances Amec Foster Wheeler’s strategy to grow its portfolio of research work and follows on from the recent contract award by Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, to carry out research into manufacturing and materials technologies for the civil nuclear sector. The company will be working closely with the University of Manchester and Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on themes relating to nuclear structural materials and design codes and standards.