Rolls-Royce takes leading role in UK nuclear research centre

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, will lead the development of the UK’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), announced as part of the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy launched by Lord Mandelson today. The Group’s position in the NAMRC underscores the role it will play in leading the UK supply chain’s involvement in the worldwide development of nuclear power.

The NAMRC is expected to open in 2011 and will further expand the growing network of advanced manufacturing research centres in the UK. These strategic partnerships between industry and universities develop and share technologies and processes for high-value added manufacturing.

The Government-funded Centre will bring together an industrial consortium of around 30 companies from the UK nuclear supply chain. Universities will be selected to host the Centre and lead key research themes.

The NAMRC will develop key manufacturing, management and training processes and support nuclear accreditation. It will also provide a focus for the UK supply chain’s response to the increasing global market for nuclear power.

Rolls-Royce plays a leading role in the UK’s existing advanced manufacturing research centres and will bring this experience to the NAMRC, as well as its extensive technical expertise, systems integration skills and market access.

The Group’s nuclear expertise derives from its 50-year involvement in developing and supporting nuclear plant for the Royal Navy’s submarine programme. Rolls-Royce now has the largest nuclear skills base and supply chain of any UK company, with around 2,000 employees and 260 suppliers accredited to nuclear standards.

Lawrie Haynes, President – Rolls-Royce Nuclear, said: “We are very pleased to be leading the development of this Centre. The global ‘nuclear renaissance’ presents a real opportunity for the UK to revitalise its manufacturing capability. The Centre will enable the UK to develop new capabilities, not only to address its own civil nuclear programme but also to compete more effectively in international markets.”

  1. Rolls-Royce is a global business, providing and supplying integrated power systems for use on land, at sea and in the air. The Group has established a strong position in civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy markets.
  2. In 2008, Rolls-Royce and its partners invested £885 million in research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of noise and emissions.
  3. Research and development is carried out in facilities in the UK, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Japan, the US and Scandinavia and the Group has particularly strong relationships with the 28 universities where there are Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres.
  4. Annual revenues were £9.1 billion in 2008, 52 per cent of which came from services revenues. The firm and announced order book at the end of 2008 stood at £55.5 billion.
  5. In July 2008 Rolls-Royce announced the creation of a new nuclear business to enable the Group to address the global market for new nuclear build.
  6. Over the last 50 years, Rolls-Royce has developed a nuclear capability that ranges from design, safety case, licensing and the turn-key supply of complete reactor facilities to the provision of state-of-the-art non-destructive examination and repair techniques.
  7. Rolls-Royce has further strengthened its position with the recent integration of Data Systems and Solutions’ (DS&S) instrumentation and controls business. Rolls-Royce is now a world leader in digital instrumentation and controls systems for nuclear reactors and currently has systems installed in over 100 nuclear plants across 15 countries, employing 260 people.
  8. Rolls-Royce has been involved in the development of manufacturing research centres since their inception. The centres provide an infrastructure to support public and privately supported manufacturing technology research. Rolls-Royce joined the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which opened in 2004, with founder member Boeing. In early 2009 it opened the £10 million Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future, a four-fold expansion of the AMRC, on the same Sheffield site. In 2007, Rolls-Royce launched the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) together with Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde University. The AFRC will open in 2010. The NAMRC will augment this growing network.

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