Fit For Nuclear survey shows scheme’s success

Nine out of 10 companies which have joined the Fit For Nuclear programme would recommend it to other manufacturers, according to a new survey released today.

Laser cutting a nuclear industry component at Paul Fabrications, the 100th company to complete Fit For Nuclear – image courtesy of F4N.
Laser cutting a nuclear industry component at Paul Fabrications, the 100th company to complete Fit For Nuclear – image courtesy of F4N.

Fit For Nuclear (F4N) helps manufacturing companies prepare themselves to bid for contracts in the civil nuclear supply chain. It allows firms to measure their operations against the standards required to supply the nuclear industry – in new build, operations and decommissioning – and helps them take the necessary steps to close any gaps.

F4N is delivered exclusively by the Nuclear AMRC, and supported by top-tier partners in nuclear new build and decommissioning. Around 600 UK manufacturers having reportedly taken the initial F4N online assessment. Completing the programme is said to require commitment and drive from senior managers, and typically takes 12–18 months.

Almost 100 companies at all stages of their F4N journey responded to the survey request earlier this year, with the majority classed as small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Nearly half of respondents said that they have already experienced meaningful business benefits, from demonstrable improvements in HSEQ measures to greater awareness of nuclear opportunities. A significant proportion say they have won new orders or enquiries as a result of their F4N journey – many more say it’s simply made their business better.

Around a quarter of companies said they would not have tried to develop their capabilities for nuclear sector if F4N support had not been available.

The survey results will help the Nuclear AMRC develop the F4N service to provide additional value to manufacturers. Discussing the findings, Nuclear AMRC chief executive, Mike Tynan commented: “One consistent message is the need for ongoing support after F4N granting, to make sure that companies can identify relevant opportunities and successfully bid for work. We are currently developing a number of new services to meet this demand.”

The survey also shows the appetite from SMEs for innovative R&D – 80% of respondents said they would consider working with the Nuclear AMRC to solve their manufacturing problems and develop their capabilities, or are already doing so.

Tynan explained: “Advanced technical capabilities and high-impact innovation are increasingly vital factors to winning nuclear work. With the UK’s new build programme finally progressing, and the decommissioning programme reaching out to new suppliers, it’s a great time to start your F4N journey if you haven’t already.”

What benefits have you experienced as a result of F4N