February Newsletter

January 2021
The North West Nuclear Arc team have hit the ground running in 2021 and are continuing to work to promote nuclear developments and opportunities within the region. Following on from the Energy White Paper which was released by UK Government in late December, the NWNA team has been working with local MPs to ensure they have all the information needed to encourage investment and opportunities for NWNA.

Nuclear Decommissioning Research Centre (NDRC)

The intention is for the Nuclear Decommissioning Research Centre NDRC hub to be sited in proximity to the Sellafield site to facilitate research co-creation, collaboration and application with end users.  NDRC will host embedded core research, development and innovation programmes, as well as supported user access.

The NDRC will address a gap in the current infrastructure landscape, enabling frequent and long term access to facilities for working with high inventories of radioactive materials, and scale up and demonstration of new technologies, including mock up environments.  NDRC will therefore create the environment to enable world class research and innovation to address the grand challenges of nuclear decommissioning, with a clear pathway to implementation and commercialisation of research outcomes. 

A Statement of Need proposal (deadline February 15th) is being prepared by Sheffield University for the EPRSC which wishes to identify ambitious, nationally important and potentially disruptive large-scale infrastructure opportunities that would be suitable for future submissions to the pan-UKRI Infrastructure Fund. The plan is for a Hub at Sellafield with potential Spokes at Trawsfynydd and Dounreay.

Bangor University Nuclear Futures Institute

The Nuclear Futures Institute (NFI) at Bangor University is currently expanding! Three new lecturers have been appointed and the team are now recruiting for a range of new positions.

Find out more here https://nubu.nu/join-us/job-opportunities/

Radioactive Waste Management Working Group

A Working Group has been formed in Allerdale, Cumbria, to begin discussions about the potential for hosting a deep geological facility for the safe and secure disposal of radioactive waste.

The announcement follows two months after the first group was established in neighbouring Copeland. Chaired independently by Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong, the Allerdale Working Group will now begin local discussions and fact-finding about the potential for the future siting of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in Allerdale.

Find out more here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rwm-welcomes-launch-of-second-gdf-working-group

Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) Citing Process

Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) is an ambitious programme to design and construct a prototype fusion power plant.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority are currently undergoing a siting process, where they are searching for a community to host a prototype and make fusion a commercially viable reality in the UK.

NWNA is supporting a range of applications throughout our geography and are excited about the new opportunities this will bring.

Find out more here https://step.ukaea.uk/step-siting/

Wylfa Newydd – DCO Withdrawn

Hitachi Ltd announced that Horizon Nuclear Power will be ceasing its activities to develop projects at Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury following the suspension in January 2019 due to the absence of a clear funding package for the lead Wylfa Newydd project.

There remains lot of interest in the Wylfa Newydd site from potential developers include a credible development interest from Westinghouse/Bechtel and Southern consortium with track record of project delivery at plant Vogle in USA.

There is a need for UK Gov to be supporting potential Wylfa Newydd developers by giving clarity on (financial) support it will put in place especially in period leading up to final investment decision.

Find out more here https://www.horizonnuclearpower.com/

  • The NWNA team are developing a NWNA Technology Brochure to highlight all the opportunities within the arc – this will expand upon the NWNA maps which can be found on the NWNA website https://nwna.co.uk/
  • NWNA will be launching its 2021 Campaigns to promote the aims of the arc through events, communications, information and materials. The 4 campaigns for 2021 will focus on; Large build, Advanced Nuclear Technologies, Co-generation and Decommissioning and Waste Management.
  • Welsh Government are in the process of establishing Cwmni Egino to facilitate new loner-term development at Trawsfynydd.