Amec Foster Wheeler leads new nuclear project

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

THE UK government has appointed Amec Foster Wheeler to lead a new £2.9m (US$3.8m) nuclear research programme which will use virtual engineering to design reactors. 

Alongside Amec Foster Wheeler will be industrial, academic and science partners, including from the University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre, the Hartree Centre, National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, EDF Energy, the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. The partners will use virtual engineering and high performance computing, including multi-physics modelling and simulation, to improve the design process of the reactors and help to optimise their performance. They hope to achieve a breakthrough in the delivery of nuclear design, development and construction programmes. 

The Digital Reactor Design programme is part of UK efforts to develop generation IV and modular nuclear reactors, which are more flexible and are expected to be a key part of meeting the UK’s future energy needs. The contract to lead the programme was awarded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

“We see the Digital Reactor Design programme as the first stage in transforming the way that the UK nuclear industry will design and build new facilities and strengthen capabilities across the sector for the future,” said lead academic for the project Eann Patterson from the University of Liverpool.

Amec Foster Wheeler has previously won UK government contracts for civil nuclear research, most recently from Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency to research nuclear manufacturing and materials.

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

Senior reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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