One of the world’s largest nuclear engineering firms – which has a base in West Cumbria – has become the latest to join the Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme. Assystem – which has an office at Westlakes Science and Technology Park in Moor Row, near Whitehaven – said it was joining the collaboration to help drive economic growth across the North and support the push to encourage more young people to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths), subjects. The company, which has its UK headquarters in Blackburn and employs 5,700 across the UK, is at the forefront on a number of major developments in the nuclear industry. Assystem is a partner in a Rolls-Royce-led consortium which is designing a first-of-a-kind Small Modular Reactor (SMR), which, as the name suggests, are smaller than conventional large-scale nuclear power stations, can be constructed off site before installation, and are cheaper to manufacture. The consortium – which also prominent players in Cumbria’s nuclear sector, the National Nuclear Laboratory, Wood and Nuvia – recently received £18 million worth of funding from the Government to progress its plans, adding the £500m it will invest through its own funds and third-party organisations. As reported by in-Cumbria last month, representatives from Shepley Engineers Ltd, TSP Engineering and Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster, which has more than 300 members, were among the businesses to showcase how they could support the manufacture of the new reactors. The first working model is set to be up-and-running in the early 2030s, creating 40,000 jobs at its peak, and generate enough energy to power 750,000 homes. Assystem is also involved in the development of the new large-scale nuclear power station development at Hinkley Point C and is supporting the creation of the world’s largest fusion prototype, ITER in France.
In Cumbria 12th Sept 2019 read more »