WNF Industry News
Wales Nuclear Forum: Industry News, keeping you informed of important updates and informative information in the sector.
Wales Nuclear Forum: Industry News, keeping you informed of important updates and informative information in the sector.
Nick hosted an HPC update webinar and for those of you who couldn’t attend, I summarised the highlights.
He said SWMAS will continue to support businesses to March 2021 and possibly beyond as part of the Nuclear Sector Deal in conjunction with AMRC.
The programme has moved online due to Coivd-19 and their advisors are happy to meet via on-line meeting platforms.
The focus for the next year will be on Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC opportunities and they are looking to define specific working groups in order to combine skills and supply chain support.
SWMAS support has now expanded to other nuclear opportunities:
There are also additional MEH opportunities: (with Bilfinger) (MEH is the partnership of HPC and all Tier One Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC Contractors).
There are currently some supply chain challenges but that could open up opportunity to UK suppliers:
How we are changing the support to help your business
Companies will be supported to understand and make changes to the business to both survive and grow as a result of Covid-19. This will involve a specialist advisor working with the company utilising webianrs, remote technology and systems as well as new innovative approaches.
The company will have an action plan on the back each review which will help to identify areas for cost saving in the business as well as areas to try and capitalise on for growth.
Wider Nuclear Opportunities
Register to receive Tenders from the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
SWMAS are working on STEP programme to support a South West bid for location of Fusion Technology Centre
EPR Technical Centre being established at Aztec West, Bristol
White Paper expected around Q3 this year which would unlock further UK opportunities on other Nuclear Licensed Sites linked to both Large Scale and Small Scale Nuclear New Build.
Nuclear Sector Deal Capability Mapping
There is on-going work to create a UK cluster map for nuclear – as part of the Nuclear Sector Deal.
The responses to the questionnaire from the South West and Wales were poor. The North West was very well represented.
The questionnaire will be resent and it is important that companies complete it in order to promote our region and ensure that we are represented.
On Tuesday 23 June, WNF Chair Georgia Gascoyne and Steering Group Member, Richard James from Welsh Government held an on-line Zoom conference with members of the CINC (Cantabrian Nuclear Cluster).
In June last year a delegation of Wales Nuclear Forum members visited Santander to hold various meetings with members of the cluster based there and then a visit to ENSA – a major Spanish fabricator heavily involved with nuclear.
The meeting was to pick up on the initial contact and plan out some actions moving forward.
Both parties are keen to share knowledge, certainly in terms of decommissioning and the capabilities of our individual regions.
The hope is that we are able to connect companies together to create synergies and collaborations in order to win work either within the UK or internationally.
Discussions are continuing and concrete actions will be rolled out in the next few weeks.
WNF extended an invitation to the Cantabrian cluster to make a visit to Wales, perhaps in Spring 2021.
Following on from a successful year in 2019 the Wales Nuclear Forum (WNF) has continued to grow in recognition across the nuclear and energy industry. And, while 2020 has brought many unforeseen challenges, that have impacted our members in lots of different ways, there are still many opportunities for Welsh businesses across nuclear and energy projects throughout the UK and overseas. As a team, we are determined to continue to support our members to win work in these sectors and to prosper.
To help strengthen the WNF further, we have decided that the time is right to introduce the role of President of WNF and we are absolutely delighted to announce that Angharad Rayner, Site Director for Magnox Trawsfynydd, has agreed to take up the position.
As a senior director of a major decommissioning project in the nuclear industry, Angharad will bring exceptional leadership and organisational
qualities to the WNF Steering Group and we would all like to welcome her to this exciting role. We are looking forward to developing a successful relationship that will assist with the continuing growth of the Wales Nuclear Forum membership.
Angharad said: “I am incredibly passionate about the nuclear industry, it is an industry which offers a great deal for the future. It’s economic footprint provides tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs and in particular, opportunities for Welsh companies to grow and thrive in this sector. I’m very much looking forward to getting involved and actively supporting the WNF ambition to grow its membership and reach even further. I hope to meet many of our members and partners at future WNF meetings.”
Angharad will be a keynote speaker at the webinar event on 25 June – see below for more information.
ABOUT ANGHARAD RAYNER
Angharad, graduated in Physics from Manchester University and started her career in Medical Physics at Cardiff Heath Hospital in 2003. During this time, Angharad completed an Msc at the University of Swansea in Medical Radiation Physics. After completing her MSc in 2006 she joined Magnox as a Trainee Health Physicist. During her time at Magnox she has spent eight years in the field of Radiation Protection, the later four years leading the department. In 2014 she joined the Trawsfynydd Lead Team as the EHSS&Q Manager before moving into the position of Waste Operations Manager in 2018.
On 1 September 2019, Angharad become the first women in the UK to run a Nuclear Decommissioning Site.
Angharad is excited and inspired by the next stage in her career. She is enjoying the challenge of leading Trawsfynydd Site on it’s decommissioning journey, working closely with her knowledgeable team and skilled workforce. Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.
Angharad is also a STEM ambassador for Magnox and a member of the Women in Nuclear Wales Network.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chair of the Wales Nuclear Forum after Peter Cornish announced his intention to stand down after four successful years at the helm.
The new Chair, with immediate effect, will be Georgia Gascoyne, Managing Director/CEO of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques. Georgia will be supported by a new Vice Chair , Jason Thomas, Commercial Manager at Teddington Engineered Solutions and Julian Vance-Daniel, Managing Director of VESSCO who will continue in his role are Treasurer.
Announcing he would be standing down Peter said: “It’s been a huge privilege and please to lead the Wales Nuclear Forum, transforming it from a small start-up idea to the thriving membership organisation it is today. I will continue to be actively involved and look forward to seeing
where we can take WNF over the next few years. I wish Georgia every success in her role as Chair.”
Georgia responded: “i’m thrilled to be taking the helm at the WNF albeit during a particularly difficult time for all of us. The Steering Group has been working very hard throughout this lockdown period to ensure that when we all return to some sort of normal, the message is clear – Wales is still very much open for business with a strong, talented and reliable supplier base.”
Jason added: “It is a privilege and an honour to be asked to step into the role of Vice Chair. I am sure I will receive all the support required from my fellow Steering Group members and I will also support Georgia to the best of my ability in the position of Chair.”
ABOUT GEORGIA GASCOYNE
Georgia is Managing Director/CEO of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques (HFT) based in Llanelli. HFT have been in business for 45 years and are inventors, designers and manufacturers of pipe purging equipment. The company has been supplying to nuclear, both new-build and decommissioning, since the 70’s. Most recently they have been closely involved with a UK EPC in supplying
bespoke purging and monitoring systems at the Hinkley Point C project.
She has been involved with Welding and Engineering for more than 30 years, mainly within the Energy sector and working in project development, supply chain management and procurement roles. Georgia is a non-executive Director of the Welding Institute (TWI).
ABOUT JASON THOMAS
Jason is the Commercial Manager at Teddington Engineered Solutions based in Llanelli. Teddington specialise in the design and manufacture of expansion joints that compensate movement within pipework. The company has extensive experience and history within the nuclear sector and also supplied to the first ever nuclear power station at Sellafield in the 1950’s.
Jason has over 20 years’ experience working within nuclear and the broader energy sectors. His engineering and commercial experience includes bidding, negotiating and securing major contracts in the UK and worldwide, both with the civil and defence nuclear industries, working closely with many major Tier 1 companies and EPC’s.
THE WALES NUCLEAR FORUM STEERING GROUP
Chair – Georgia Gascoyne, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques
Vice Chair – Jason Thomas, Teddington Engineered Solutions
Treasurer – Julian Vance-Daniel, VESSCO
Members – Viv Compton, Industry Learning Solutions; Jason O’Malley, In Site Technical;
Richard James, Welsh Government; John Idris Jones, CTC; Mel Jones, EDF Energy
WNF MEMBERS WEBINAR – 25 JUNE 2020, 11AM
On Thursday 25 June at 11am, WNF will host a webinar meeting open to all members. We have a fantastic line up of speakers including Angharard Rayner our new President. We’ll be sharing more details in the coming days but if you want to secure your place, register here now. If you are a member of WNF, there is no limit to the number of people who can attend so please share with your colleagues.
We are really keen to hear news from our members that we can share, ideas for things you want to hear about and topics for future meetings. Please get in touch with your suggestions to email@example.com
Following the government publication of PPN 04/20 that replaces the previous Procurement Policy Note (PPN 02/20), we remain committed to playing our part in supporting our supply chain to ensure that our suppliers remain sustainable.
To enable us to do this and to ensure continuity of our critical services, Sellafield Ltd will work closely with the supply chain covered under PPN 04/20 to enable them to make the right decisions for their company and their workforce while continuing to support safe and secure operations. The supplier relief scheme set up under PPN 04/20 is for those suppliers that deliver critical services that are central to the delivery of our mission and have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is on the basis that throughout this period we maintain value for money for our business and the UK taxpayer and enable the supply chain and Sellafield Ltd to transition to our new normal at the end of the pandemic.
We will deliver this with effect from 1st July 2020.
Interim Supply Chain Director
The Covid-19 pandemic is a major challenge for employers and employees across the UK nuclear industry. This unprecedented situation has led to some people being affected by furlough or redundancy, as companies make difficult decisions to minimise their risks to business continuity.
This Nuclear Bursary round will focus on providing financial support to those that have been furloughed or made redundant from a company working in the nuclear sector, as well as supporting employees of SMEs looking to upskill or develop new skills.
The Nuclear Bursary Scheme, managed by NSAN and funded by the ECITB and the NDA, supports the delivery one of the NSSG’s key themes of ‘Exciting the Next Generation’ with a particular focus on helping to retain and upskill personnel.
This round will also support the delivery of the Nuclear Sector Deal, which aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the UK nuclear supply chain, reduce barriers to entry and encourage SMEs to enter the sector.
The Nuclear Bursary will provide a financial contribution towards the cost of programmes of study relevant to the UK nuclear industry or associated costs for the course completion.
Relevant programmes of study supported include Higher Level short courses, First Degree and Post-Graduate programmes, CPD qualifications and workforce development.
Given the current social distancing measures in place due to the Covid-19 restrictions, applications for courses to be completed by distance learning only will be accepted in this round.
Applications opened today for the Welsh Government Resilience Fund – support is available for a wide range of businesses, please check your own business eligibility using the link below, which will then take you to the application form. There will likely be high demand so please do not delay.
https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/ then click on Eligibility Checker
Alternatively, click below for direct link.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Swansea University’s, Project METaL is committed to ensuring that we continue to support the Welsh manufacturing industry. METaL will continue to offer upskilling and CPD opportunities whilst adapting to a situation which finds many Welsh businesses working from home.
For a limited time period, we are offering our brand new accredited online ‘Corrosion & Coatings Technology’ course to Welsh businesses “Free of Charge”
This offer is based on a first come first served system, so if you know of any businesses who may want to take advantage please don’t hesitate to contact us.
To All Wales Nuclear Forum Members,
I appreciate that you are receiving many call outs for help on various subjects.
We (WG, Life Science Hub, Industry Wales) are working together with NHS Wales SSP to support the supply chain for various equipment needs for both Health, Care and other front line workers. We fully acknowledge you are already doing this but hope this can help you/us in the following ways :
Any concerns on this document can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org BUT otherwise please use the routes described in the document as they are direct routes.
Can you consider to use your usual routes in to reach the widest circulation of our businesses in Wales as soon as possible,
James Davies, Executive Chair, Industry Wales.
Mob : 07785 973780
Email : email@example.com
Ein cyf/Our ref
To All Wales Nuclear Forum Members
26 March 2020
I write to you to try and reassure you as Welsh Nuclear Forum members that the Welsh Government is working hard to put in place a series of measures to complement and add value to those put forwards by the UK Government to support business during this unprecedented time of uncertainty generated by the Covid19 crisis.
We as a Nuclear Team have been in touch with a number of members over the past week to try and determine how the crisis is currently affecting you and to try and get a feel as to how the sector as a whole is being impacted.
If you are not already aware, information on what help there may be available to businesses in Wales is contained on the Business Wales website which has a wealth of information on the support available including further information on the loan and equity funding accessible via the Development Bank for Wales. The UK Government also supports UK-wide support schemes and the links below will take you to further information on specific subject areas:
Information on support provided via the Welsh Government, including Business Rate Relief and Business Grant Schemes https://businesswales.gov.wales/government-support-businesses https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice
Development Bank of Wales
Information of services available via the Development Bank of Wales https://developmentbank.wales/
UK Government Business Support
HMRC also has a Coronavirus helpline for businesses and self-employed people and is available on 0800 0159 559.
UK Government guidance to employers and businesses about Covid-19 including information and guidance on areas such as Statutory Sick Pay, advice for employees which have travelled to high risk areas and home working
We understand that most businesses are entering an extremely challenging period. Given the severity of this crisis, it is possible that we may not be able to help individual businesses with unique concerns, but will do our level best to ensure common issues across the sector or to groups of businesses involved in particular areas of nuclear are supported and hopefully addressed.
Please also get in touch if you have any issues you think that we can assist you with beyond the assistance available via the Business Wales above – our contact details are attached below.
Finally, we as a team hope that you and your employees stay healthy and well. We will overcome this challenging period for us all and move forward.
Wyn Roberts – firstname.lastname@example.org – 077 69 883236
Richard James – email@example.com – 077 96 991279
Laurence Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org – 078 10 448662
Head of Nuclear
The planned surge in new electricity power generation plant and refits across the world brings with it a demand for improvements in welding technology. This demand will be met by innovative developments in welding equipment to ensure consistently better quality joints, many of which are in the safety critical class.
All the programmes involve extensive fabrication of high-pressure steel pipes and tubes, the welding of which presents particular challenges.
The high pressures and temperatures used in steam generation circuits necessitate the use of creep resistant steels such as those based on chromium/ molybdenum/ vanadium alloys. These materials provide improved oxidation and corrosion resistance together with high strength and are widely used in both fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.
The demand for quality in all these safety critical joints is reflected in the stringent regulations laid down in welding procedures. Nevertheless, some welding practices can result in significant reduction both in corrosion resistance and mechanical strength.
Welding of high-pressure steam pipe
Some engineering alloys are prone to cracking during welding. Industry sectors having to overcome this problem are principally in the power generation sector and include low and medium alloy steels that have been specially developed for their high strength. Metallurgists have learned that heating the joint prior to and after welding (pre-heating and post-heating) can reduce the sensitivity to cracking quite significantly. It involves temperatures in the region of 200°C although this may be much higher for certain materials 3, 4, 5, 6.
Welding is one process that is widely used during manufacture. This affects the microstructure. Preheating, maintaining inter-pass temperatures, and post-weld heat treatment procedures are very critical for these creep resistant alloys. Failure to follow the procedures can result in catastrophic failures in service.
The preferred welding procedures in this type of fabrication are GTAW and GMAW and these offer protection of the exposed upper fusion zone. The joint around the underbead however needs to be protected by purging – the protection of exposed metal by applying a local inert gas atmosphere.
Meeting the requirements of inert gas purging when temperatures exceeding 200ºC are involved necessitates the use of purge systems capable of withstanding these temperatures throughout the heating and welding cycles. Typical thermal cycles can exceed 2 hours and it may be necessary to maintain the purge system in place throughout.
Purging system requirements
Specially engineered purge products have been designed over the past five years that are capable of withstanding the temperatures involved whilst at the same time maintaining adequate gas sealing characteristics. They are also rugged enough to survive multiple-use applications. These products are manufactured from thermally stable engineering polymers and can be provided with advanced gas valve control systems.
Few manufacturers are able to supply weld purging systems that can be used at the high temperatures prevailing during pre- and post-heating but some commercially available systems have been designed specifically to meet the requirements (Fig 1).
However, it is clear that many companies still employ paper, cardboard and polystyrene foam as dam materials. These are prone to outgassing during use, they are difficult to insert and remove and may even ignite at the prevailing temperatures.
FIG 1 Hotpurge® 7 systems cover the diameter range from 150 to 2440 mm. These systems are capable of withstanding temperatures up to 300°C for 24 hours. The inflatable seals are manufactured from flexible, thermally resistant engineering polymers.
Weld Purging Techniques
The most effective devices are those based on connected inflatable dams
The inert gas input can be programmed to control gas flow and pressure during inflation and purging and once placed in position require little more input from an operator. The dams are fabricated using advanced engineering polymers and are thus suitable for use where elimination of contamination is essential.
FIG 2 Example of the PurgElite® 7 range of fully integrated systems covering the 25 to 250 mm pipe range. Complementary systems are available covering the diameter range between 150 and 2440 mm.
Purge gas oxygen content can be controlled by using an oxygen monitor. These instruments not only measure oxygen levels but can inhibit welding if the level is above that set by the operator. Recording and analysing software provides information for quality control purposes.
Even very low oxygen concentrations in weld gases can give rise to discolouration, loss of corrosion resistance and reduction in mechanical strength. Controlling oxygen level in purge gas can be effected simply and efficiently using contemporary integrated purge systems.
FIG 3 Oxygen monitor designed specifically for use in a welding environment. The PurgEye® 7 range is capable of measuring residual oxygen content down to 10 ppm.
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the UK as part of our response to COVID-19.
There is a requirement for Design, Manufacture and Supply of the following medical devices or component parts :
As well as manufacturers, they are looking for businesses with the following skills:
Vessco Engineering Ltd is a featured Tier 2 Supplier to HPC. Vessco is just one of an increasing number of Wales based companies supplying the Hinkley Point C nuclear new build project. EDF have produced a supply chain map which indicates that 100 Welsh companies already supply goods and services to HPC.
WNF is dedicated to increasing both the number of Wales based suppliers to HPC and the total value of contacts.
Vessco Engineering started approaching EDF, Alstom Power Systems and Rolls-Royce in 2010 just as the UK Government was contemplating a resurgence of new build activity in the new build nuclear sector. This culminated in civil nuclear approved supplier status for both Alstom and Rolls-Royce in 2012. As the parties stuttered towards a final investment decision in 2017 Vessco Engineering alongside hundreds of companies throughout the UK continued to make overtures to the prospective Tier One suppliers to HPC and EDF directly. The Wales Nuclear Forum was formed during that period with the aim of galvanising a sustained effort by Wales based businesses to gain contracts at HPC and prospective sites at Wylfa and NuGen in Cumbria.
The disappointing news regarding postponement at Wylfa and abandonment of the NuGen proposals at the end of 2018 / early 2019 cast a shadow over the civil nuclear resurgence in the UK. However, the development at HPC is now in full swing and advanced plans exist for new sites at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell, Essex. There is still time for WNF members to gain new business at HPC and everything to push for at SZC and Bradwell B.
Vessco Engineering gained its first multi-million pound contract for GE in December 2017, this was followed by contracts with Ovivo UK Ltd and Balfour Beatty. Vessco’s workforce numbers and turnover have more than doubled since its involvement in nuclear new build and future prospects are encouraging.
Within Wales the civil nuclear sector activity is centred on decommissioning at Trawsfynydd and Wylfa and plans for small modular reactors particularly at Traws. There are currently around 1,500 people working in the civil nuclear sector in Wales.
In light of growing concerns about Coronavirus, the WNF Steering Group has taken the decision to postpone the event planned for the 19th of March. The meeting will instead take place on Thursday 21st of May at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.
More details will be issued very soon.
If you have registered to attend the event we will carry forward your registration to May 21st but if for any reason you are unable to attend the rearranged date, let us know. Similarly, if you have booked an exhibition stand this will also be carried forward to the next event. Again, please let us know if you do not wish us to do that.
We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you very much for your understanding.
The United Kingdom is a pioneer of nuclear technologies and opened the world’s first commercial nuclear power station in 1956, at Calder Hall near Sellafield in Cumbria. Nuclear power has delivered great benefits: it has supported national defence, generated electricity for more than 60 years and our country remains a world-leading nuclear enterprise.
Today the UK is faced with the challenge of cleaning up the legacy of its early nuclear operations – a large-scale programme undertaken by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). This includes delivering innovative solutions for managing radioactive waste that meet today’s safety standards and will protect us into the distant future.
UK Government policy is to have a wide mix of energy supplies, so we use nuclear alongside other energy sources, such as gas and solar. Today, nuclear energy generates around one fifth of the country’s electricity, and under current government proposals that include Hinkley Point C, some of our power will come from nuclear sources in the future.
There are important reasons why nuclear is part of the mix:
it’s a low carbon choice that supports the UK’s climate change goals: nuclear power stations generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane
nuclear power plants produce electricity 24 hours a day, whatever the weather
nuclear power plants don’t require a daily supply of new fuel to operate, unlike gas, coal and biomass plant
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques were thrilled to be announced as Finalists in the ‘Export of Business of the Year’ category at the Welsh Business Awards at the start of 2020.
The Awards Ceremony took place at Cardiff City Hall where business leaders gathered for a drinks reception before taking their seats in the beautiful banqueting hall. Serenaded by a saxophonist and trumpet players everybody waited in anticipation for the Awards part of the evening, hosted by Gethin Jones, to get underway.
We are very pleased to announce that we won ‘Export Business of the Year’. We are delighted to be recognised for this Award as 85% of our sales turnover is made up of export business. Our business model is to sell our range of pipe purging equipment via a network of Exclusive Distributors of which we have 45 worldwide. Much of our time is devoted to assisting these Distributors by making joint visits to customers to perform demonstrations, attending Exhibitions and participating in Welsh Government led Trade Missions.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, presented the Award to CEO Georgia Gascoyne and Technical Sales Manager, Luke Keane.
The icing on the cake was the final Award of the evening, when Heather Myers, CEO South Wales Chamber of Commerce, announced that Georgia was being given the prestigious Presidents Award saying her dedication to the business and drive for success is commendable. Paul Slevin, President, South Wales Chamber of Commerce presented an astonished Georgia with the Award. The team at HFT could not be more proud of her achievement.
Thank you to the South Wales Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful evening of celebrations, with many Welsh business success stories and an overwhelming sense of pride in the room.
-Georgia Gascoyne, WNF Steering Group member
Kevin Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Georgia Gascoyne, HFT CEO & Managing Director, and Luke Keane, HFT Technical Sales Manager.
By 2050, we need to have a net zero carbon economy, to protect our environment for future generations. That means we need to generate much more energy from low carbon sources.
But we also need a reliable, home-grown source of power, especially as electricity will power heat and transport.
And our energy systems needs to create prosperity across the UK, offering life-changing opportunities to tens of thousands of people.
Nuclear energy is a low carbon, reliable, home-grown supply of power. The sector creates high quality direct and indirect employment for around 155,000 people.
It’s time to Rediscover Nuclear.
Mon: 8:30 – 5:30
Tue: 8:30 – 5:30
Wed: 8:30 – 5:30
Thu: 8:30 – 5:30
Fri: 8:30 – 5:30