£13m funding for UK nuclear opportunities

Tech strategy board 180Early in 2014, up to £13 million will be made available jointly by the Technology Strategy Board, the Department of Energy and Climate Change DECC and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA to help UK-based businesses take advantage of the opportunities that the growing nuclear market offers.

This is part of a drive to grow a robust and sustainable UK supply chain by developing innovative products and services for the nuclear sector. The initiative will focus on key technology areas such as construction, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and decommissioning & waste

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, commented:

“This country has strengths in a wide range of technologies that will contribute to our growing domestic civil nuclear programme as well as taking advantage of significant global market opportunities. We will be focussing our support to ensure that UK businesses have the opportunity to engage fully in these programmes”

The NDA’s Head of Research and Development, Prof Melanie Brownridge, added: “We rely on a vibrant, dynamic supply chain and are pleased to invest in future capability. This continues a collaborative drive initiated more than 18 months ago that is already delivering significant innovative technological progress.”

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: 

“We are committed to nuclear power as part of the low carbon mix of our future energy supply. And through our nuclear industrial strategy we are working in partnership with industry to grasp the multi billion pound long-term opportunities for UK companies and for thousands of highly skilled jobs. 

“This funding will help UK companies to compete for contracts in areas like construction, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and decommissioning and waste. We want to build a robust UK based supply chain for existing and future nuclear power stations.”

In 2012, £18 million was invested in nuclear Research and Development through a partnership between the TSB, NDA, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The 35 projects, which received funding following  a competitive submission process are ongoing and include a wide range of innovative UK SMEs, large businesses and research institutes. 

The new competition will focus on the technologies needed for Britain’s new fleet of power stations, but will also include further opportunities for developing innovation for existing stations and decommissioning programmes.