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UK Contractors Tap Jacobs for Nuclear Reactor R&D Support; Clive White Quoted


Jacobs has secured contracts to provide technical support for U-Battery Developments and Westinghouse Electric Company U.K. The two companies are currently developing nuclear power reactors with U.K. government research funding.

The nuclear laboratories of Jacobs in Warrington, U.K., will be required to perform research and development work into new technologies for advanced manufacturing qualification, the company said Wednesday.

"Advanced nuclear technologies can provide low-cost electricity and more cost-effective hydrogen production, both of which will assist the U.K.'s transition to clean energy and a net zero carbon economy," said Clive White, senior vice president of Jacobs' Critical Mission Solutions International.

Westinghouse and U-Battery have progressed to Phase 2 of a competition run by the U.K. government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to promote technological innovation. BEIS has allocated $50 million to develop designs for Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR) that will generate low-cost electricity by incorporating new cooling techniques and off-site factory fabrication.

Under the contract with U-Battery, Jacobs will lead concept design work on the reactor and primary systems, control, instrumentation and autonomous operation and will provide safety, environmental and human factors analysis and support.

Meanwhile, the Westinghouse contract requires Jacobs to perform structural materials, corrosion and mechanical testing, which are critical technical issues for reactors operating at temperatures above 932°F. The goal of these experiments is to evaluate the effect on mechanical performance and identify suitable structural materials for further studies by Westinghouse.

The department will also provide Jacobs with funding to create innovative, technology-enabled mechanical testing methods to enable advanced manufacturing technologies and materials to be accredited for use in future reactor plants.

"BEIS is to be congratulated for its vision in encouraging innovation in nuclear reactor design, and we look forward to continuing our support for these efforts across a wide spectrum of research into materials performance and qualification, digital design and manufacturing techniques, and structural design codes and standards,” added White. 

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