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Image Left: Mike Lynch, Business Manager - Materials and Component Testing Laboratories, at work in the current high-temperature facility at BirchwoodImage Right: Amec Foster Wheeler's Birchwood siteHot stu The UK government's Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has selected Amec Foster Wheeler to lead a new project to set up a high-temperature facility (HTF) for nuclear industry research.The HTF, which will undertake vital testing work on materials used in current and future nuclear reactors, will be funded through a £2m grant from DECC and will be a vital resource for business and academia.Greg Willetts, Vice President for Consultancy at Amec Foster Wheeler's Clean Energy business, said: "Being chosen to lead and manage this important new facility cements our position at the forefront of the industry's understanding about how materials inside reactors perform at high temperatures."This programme will help to re-establish the UK as a major contributor to advanced nuclear reactor technology and play an important part in fulfi lling the aims of the UK government's Nuclear Industrial Strategy."The award followed a competitive bidding round in which Amec Foster Wheeler led a consortium made up of the National Nuclear Laboratory, EDF Energy, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Urenco, the University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute, the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, the Open University, and Imperial College London.As an open access facility, the HTF will be used by organisations in the nuclear industry and by university researchers. It will be set up at Amec Foster Wheeler's Technology & Innovation Centre at Birchwood, Warrington, where the Clean Energy business operates comprehensive laboratory and test rig facilities that support the nuclear industry. This includes a UKAS-accredited commercial radiochemical analysis laboratory and facilities to support testing in current class water and gas-cooled reactors (PWR, BWR and AGR).The new facility will support an innovative research programme based on recommendations from the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board.It is envisaged that future reactors will operate at much higher temperatures than those in use now, so builders and operators will need to develop new materials and improve their understanding of how they will perform in conditions as hot as 900 degrees centigrade.The HTF will aid in the retention of key skills and will also go some way to bridging the gap between existing knowledge and the next generation of reactor designers.UK's new high-temperature facility for reactor materials testing to be managed by Amec Foster Wheeler6News

Amec Foster Wheeler has been chosen by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR) to supply independent regulatory services across the entire spectrum of its activities. DNSR is part of the MoD's Defence Safety Authority and is responsible for the regulation of the Defence Nuclear Programme.The value of the three-year contract, which has an option to extend for a further four years, has not been announced, but it renews and maintains Amec Foster Wheeler's support to DNSR, which goes back more than 20 years.Under the contract, the service will be delivered by an independent specialist team. The work will include development of regulatory policy and guidance, training and assurance, safety case assessment and regulatory inspection. "This contract strengthens Amec Foster Wheeler's position as the largest provider of independent regulatory support services to the UK defence regulator and also provides them with access to our unique capabilities and the vast resource pool across all our technical areas," said Andy White, Vice President for Decommissioning at Amec Foster Wheeler's Clean Energy business.Contract confi rms leading role with UK's defence regulatorAndy WhiteThe Successor submarine programme falls within the remit of our work for DNSRImage courtesy of BAE Systems7