Ansaldo Nucleare, Nuvia and Cammell Laird create wide-ranging nuclear power design and build partnership
Three major industrial companies in the nuclear sector, Ansaldo Nucleare, Nuvia and Cammell Laird, signed in the last quarter of 2011 a partnership agreement for the design and construction of heavy modules and components for the UK’s civil nuclear programme.
Under proposals announced by the UK Government in November 2009, 10 potential sites have been identified for new nuclear power stations. If built, these will generate up to 25 per cent of the overall country’s electricity energy needs. The partnership was set up within the context of UK initiatives to create a reliable and competitive supply chain thanks to nuclear industry players that are capable of sharing the challenges offered by new build programmes. The blend of skills that each member of the partnership offers, together with their superb manufacturing facilities and excellent geographical location, will provide major advantages for the manufacturing of modules for the UK’s nuclear power plant construction programme.
In August 2010, Nuvia and Cammell Laird announced the setting up of an initial partnership whose mission was to break into the nuclear module market. With its addition to the partnership in 2011 Ansaldo Nucleare became the third essential component of this ‘best-in-class’ alliance.
Ansaldo brings 30 years’ experience in the nuclear power sector, and offers capabilities that include plant design, engineering, fabrication management, construction, commissioning, operational assistance, maintenance and decommissioning. Significantly, Ansaldo Nucleare is the designer of the major modules for the Westinghouse AP1000 plant at Sanmen nuclear power plant in China and is currently involved in the design and construction of its containment vessel. Ansaldo Nucleare is fully owned by Ansaldo Energia, a key power generation supplier in Europe.
NUVIA is the UK’s third largest independent supplier of nuclear technology, providing a range of services from front-end consultancy through to design for build and final decommissioning, for new and existing nuclear facilities in the UK and overseas. NUVIA has extensive technical knowledge and experience in the construction of EPR nuclear power plants through its parent company the Vinci Group, one of the largest construction companies in the world. In particular, it has specialist knowledge of and experience of working in accordance with British and international nuclear industry standards and regulations.
Cammell Laird is the largest and most successful ship building, repair and conversion company in the UK with new build and major engineering construction capability and an enviable reputation for first class workmanship and industry-leading safety standards. Cammell Laird's project management team has a proven track record in the execution of major ship repair and shipbuilding contracts and the manufacture of ultra large and complex engineering structures.
The partners propose to build super modules for AP1000 and EPR nuclear power plants, initially for the UK market, using an off-site ‘weather-protected’ construction hall and sea access loadout facilities at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. These facilities are capable of handling modules up to 5000 tonnes in weight.
The principle advantages of this innovative approach lie in the ability to design and build larger units than were previously possible in a weather-protected factory environment. This will ultimately reduce construction costs and improve quality, safety and delivery performance while at the same time considerably reducing onsite construction.
John Syvret, CEO of Cammell Laird said “Ansaldo Nucleare has added an important new dimension to the partnership Nuvia and Cammell Laird that was formed last year, as they have patented module designs together with operational capability and significant design capacity. Ansaldo is also currently involved in the construction and management of the latest AP1000 Nuclear Power Plant being built in China. These skills when added to the capabilities and infrastructure of Nuvia and Cammell Laird, create a unique formula for the design, offsite construction and installation support of ‘super modules’ for future nuclear power plants to be built in the UK and ultimately around the world.”
Keith Collett, CEO of Nuvia UK commented, “The addition of Ansaldo Nucleare to the already impressive partnership of Nuvia and Cammell Laird creates a significant proposition to the nuclear new build market, increasing the spectrum of capability, knowledge and experience from one collaborative source. This association provides a real opportunity for Nuvia, Ansaldo Nucleare and Cammell Laird to drive innovation and enhance the technical engineering skills offered to the UK and International market.”
Roberto Adinolfi, CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare, speaking about the challenges ahead said “Ansaldo Nucleare has been a European pioneer in the development of third generation advanced designs based on passive technology that prevent reactor cooling difficulties after a blackout, supporting Westinghouse from the embryonic stages of their design of AP1000 and co-operating with other vendors to manufacture and test innovative components. The agreement with Cammell Laird and Nuvia will inject Ansaldo's experience in support of the UK nuclear program in a very effective way, creating a win-win opportunity for the partners in playing a leading role in the European nuclear market”.