ON A GREY RAINY LANCASHIRE day the UK’s wettest February on record drew to a close. Westinghouse struck a sunnier note when it announced a significant new direction for its Springfields fuel manufacturing site. The vision for the nuclear licensed site is to become a hub for innovative and collaborative research into the nuclear fuel cycle. Brian Nixon, Westinghouse’s Springfields managing directior of fuel operations, invited an audience of nuclear technology developers, supply chain companies and academics to collaborate in a new venture, the Springfields Clean Energy Technology Park (CETP). The company is offering access to the facilities of the nuclear licensed site to organisations interested in developing advanced nuclear fuel nuclear materials management, storage, packaging, transport, consignment or waste treatment. Kirsty Armer, director of Westinghouse Government Services UK, said that collaborations at CETP have an important role to play in meeting the UK’s ‘net zero by 2050’ carbon ambitions. She said, “Together we will develop advanced new nuclear technologies including SMR, Gen IV, fusion and other technologies.” The ambition for the park is to become a collaborative innovation hub and a ‘one stop shop’ for nuclear materials management. She called for collaborators to co-locate on the site to develop new projects. Craig Lester, deputy director Advanced Nuclear Technology at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), said that his department sees Springfields as a key strategic site enabling the nuclear industry role in meeting government’s commitment to net zero. Lester said Canada’s Chalk River Laboratories, which focuses on collaborative research and development to support and advance nuclear technology, was the model for Springfields and promised that a forthcoming Energy White Paper (ie policy document) will outline a broader role for nuclear to include heat for industrial processes, hydrogen and synthetic fuels production and nuclear medicine (treatment and diagnostics).
Nuclear Engineering International 7th May 2020 read more »