£60bn nuclear opportunity for North East manufacturers

Inside the Dorries Contumat vertical turning/milling lathe at the Nuclear AMRC.
Inside the Dorries Contumat vertical turning/milling lathe at the Nuclear AMRC.

North East manufacturers looking to get involved in the nuclear sector for the first time will be given an insight into the £60bn opportunity later this month.

Fit For Nuclear (F4N) is hosting a special event on March 18th to provide firms with the latest information and guidance on what they need to do to prepare themselves for supplying into this expanding market.

Held at Darchem Engineering in Stockton-on-Tees, the free workshop will outline nuclear new build and decommissioning projects set to come online in the UK now and over the next five years.

It will also explain how firms can tap into grants of up to £10,000 to help with achieving world class quality, outstanding health and safety and the operating systems required to work with the major tier 1s and contractors.

John Ransford, F4N Assessor, commented: “For a long time companies have had it drummed into them that they need to deliver quicker and take cost out of the equation, especially those supplying into automotive, food and, on some occasions, aerospace.”

“Nuclear is very different. Of course they are looking for you to meet delivery dates and don’t expect to be overpriced, but there is more of a partnership approach to working with suppliers so they get the critical parts and services they require.”

He continued: “The minimum quality requirement is ISO 9000, but companies will also need to prove they are working towards securing ISO14001 (environmental) and ISO 18001 (health and safety).

“In addition, North East manufacturers will have to demonstrate the right culture and behavior, that they invest in training and importantly can achieve zero accidents in the production of their parts or the delivery of their services.

“The good news is Fit For Nuclear can help you measure your capabilities against industry standards and then

John Ransford, Fit for Nuclear assessor.
John Ransford, Fit for Nuclear assessor.

provide support to help you bridge the gaps.”

The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) recently joined forces with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to roll-out Fit For Nuclear, which lets companies measure their capabilities against industry standards and helps them bridge gaps to meet requirements.

Backed by top tier partners including Areva and EDF Energy, the initiative offers a business improvement journey that will identify strategy, implement new processes, secure necessary accreditations and provide supplier matching opportunities.

It offers participating SMEs the chance to apply for match funding of up to £10,000 for business improvement or R&D projects.

F4N participants can also take advantage of the Nuclear AMRC’s Nuclear Connections initiative, which helps link manufacturers to specific supply opportunities from the industry’s top tiers.

This is based on a detailed understanding of the production capabilities of individual companies and matching these to current and upcoming tenders, including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estate.

Ransford concluded: “It is anticipated that an estimated 5000 SMEs will be needed to ensure the UK nuclear industry achieves the overhaul of power stations required.

“And it’s not just about being involved in the new reactors, it’s understanding where your products and capabilities could fit into the supply chain. For example, there are lots of contracts for fabrication work, design, precision components and electrical control systems. Now is the time to act to make sure firms don’t miss out.

To book your place, please visit www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/mas or tweet @mas_works/@fitfornuclear