New Year message from Nuclear South West Chair, Matt Burley

I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect back on 2017 and share what we have in store this year.

2017 has been another significant year in the UK nuclear industry: driven by global political and economic levers, we have seen a significant amount of disruption in both the investor community and within the supply chain.  And this disruption has affected us as an interested community of suppliers, albeit indirectly in some cases.  We welcome SNC Lavalin to UK shores after their successful acquisition of WS Atkins Ltd;  Wood Group is forging ahead in the industry after acquiring AMEC FW (and have just won a major contract in HPC); NuGen has announced that KEPCO has won preferred bidder status for the Moorside project after the withdrawal of Toshiba Westinghouse; and the NDA are in the process of change, responding to the Holliday enquiry.  Despite the distractions of BREXIT and the negotiation around the shape and form of our withdrawal from the EU, the UK Government is trying to re-invigorate the domestic SMR competition and has released the Industrial Strategy White Paper that calls out Nuclear as a strategically important sector and one that is in the process of negotiating a 'deal'.  And a little closer to home, Vincent de Rivaz recently stepped down as EDF Energy's successful CEO, in November, to be relieved by Simone Rossi.  This internal appointment created a re-shuffle that has brought Stuart Crooks (formerly of EDF Generation) to the MD role in HPC as the project progresses into construction with the Chinese partners; and in Barnwood, Brian Cowell has stepped up, internally to relieve Stuart as the MD.  I could go on but in summary we are seeing lots and lots of change.  And for a developing supply chain, change brings opportunity.  In short, we face some really positive signals in 2018.  So here's to the year ahead!

And behind all of this, NSW has been making a huge impact; we continue to resonate within the industry and our twin aims - representing and promoting the region and opening the door to the wider nuclear industry - are certainly being met.

Here are some of the activities and achievements from 2017:

  • We hosted our biggest annual conference (co hosted with SW Nuclear Hub), in September with:
    • 135 delegates
    • Over 50 business-to-business matchmaking meetings, including multi-national
    • Varied speakers covering new build, decommissioning and defence
    • A Women in Nuclear (WIN) speed mentoring event
  • Summer networking in July
  • French-British nuclear cluster event with Department for International Trade in October
  • Exhibited at the NDA Supply Chain event in November
  • We significantly contributed to the proposed Nuclear Sector Deal
  • We have renewed a relationship with MOD, to plan events in 2018
  • We have built a closer working relationship with SW Nuclear Hub - and are exploring opportunities for export
  • We have launched a new pilot scheme - working with decommissioning partners to identify opportunities for SW based supply chain with innovative solutions to problems
  • We have a new member section on web site – (please pass your details to Jessica so we can upload them)
  • We can now now include Member case studies in newsletters and online

What a portfolio of achievements!  And a look forward to 2018 plans include:

  • n innovation in supply chain event
  • One or more defence events
  • North-South collaboration events with Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster
  • DIT Civil Nuclear Showcase
  • Spring networking
  • World Nuclear Exhibition delegation, June
  • Summer networking
  • Annual conference, 19th September

And one final point I would like to share is that we are trying to make NSW even more impactful.  One of the board members and I will be visiting the NIA to discuss how we can operate more effectively in the sector and how we could integrate with wider industry initiatives - the intention is to deliver more value for you all.  I will, of course, keep you informed as those discussio progres and what they mean for our future.

Thank you for your continued support for Nuclear South West, and we look forward to working with you in 2018.

Member case study: Skylark Media - How Video Can Inspire a Generation of Engineers

Engineers are undoubtedly the bedrock of the modern world. But how do you attract new blood to the sector? At Skylark Media we work with companies who are harnessing the power of video to communicate their message.

For example, IChemE (The Institution of Chemical Engineers) for whom we produce video case studies to encourage membership.  The video case studies feature the brightest sparks currently working for a variety of sectors, ranging from energy (Shell) to confectionery (Mondelez).

IChemE is the global membership organisation for professionals involved in the chemical, process and bioprocess industries. With a membership exceeding 44,000 members in over 120 countries, IChemE aims to be the organisation of choice for the next generation of chemical engineers. But how to encourage new members? IChemE knew they needed to seek slick video content to get their message out. At Skylark we know that on YouTube alone over 3 billion hours of video is consumed every month. And for every cat video, there’s an enticing and informative video promo that has the potential to inspire its audience. Better still, viewers are 64% more likely to buy into a product or idea after watching a video. The benefits are plain to see.

IChemE case study, Mondelez

Team Skylark’s approach was to invite engineers from across the globe to describe in their own words how chemical engineering has offered them exciting and challenging employment, and crucially how IChemE membership has helped them develop their careers. Filmed against a green screen these videos combine stylish motion graphics and striking stock imagery to illustrate each person’s job role and unique perspective.

The result is a fun, funky and informative series of highly personal films that continue to inspire university graduates and professional engineers alike. Since completion IChemE have presented the videos at over 50 universities up and down the UK and Ireland, from Cork to Sheffield. Neil Young, IChemE’s UK Membership and Market Development Manager, believes the positive response can be put down to the fact that they feature enthusiastic, young, articulate people from a wide range of backgrounds and industries. Engineering students are guaranteed to identify with at least one of the case studies. As a result, the videos have become an invaluable membership tool.

Skylark has subsequently produced a dynamic animated infographic detailing the ins and outs of getting chartered. This 90 second video allows young engineers to get to grips with all the key information without having to wade through reams of wordy prose, perfect for the millennial audience. We also continue to cover IChemE’s glamorous annual awards ceremony which honours the world’s best in various engineering sectors, including energy, water and sustainable technology.

IChemE are thrilled with the video series:

The IChemE team is proud to be associated with these videos. They show chemical engineering, the winners, and the Institution in a great light.
— Andrew Furlong, Head of External Relations

With more and more young people using video to access the information they need, video continues to be a powerful tool for engaging, inspiring, and communicating your message, not to mention attracting the best to your business. Skylark specialises in helping the pioneers of the future showcase their quality, innovation and passion. Contact us today to find out how we can get your message out there.


Call: 0117 2580011

SBRI Funding Competition: Integrated Innovation for Nuclear Decommissioning

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Innovate UK are to invest up to £3 million working collaboratively with Sellafield Ltd as an end user. The aim is to create an opportunity for organisations to develop and demonstrate integrated innovative technologies for decommissioning.

Projects should integrate technologies and aim to:

            • minimise human intervention

            • increase productivity

            • optimise waste treatment, packing and routing

Examples of technologies that could be part of projects include:

            • robotics and autonomous systems

            • sensors and detectors

            • imaging

            • artificial intelligence

            • virtual reality

            • digital and ICT

            • big data modelling and simulation

Further information can be found here:

KTN is organising a series of events and registration is open now. The event in Bristol happens on 9th March and you can register your place for free.


Steve Vick International isolate four primary circuit feeder pipes from the SGHWR at Winfrith

Project report

Location: Winfrith

Project: Isolation of four Primary Circuit Feeder Pipes from the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor

Contractor: Magnox Limited (previously RSRL)

Equipment: Steve Vick International FOAMBAGS™, umbilical filling system, CCTV and closed cell polyurethane foam

Steve Vick International (SVI) has recently completed a project for Magnox Ltd. The project required SVI to design, test and install FOAMBAGS™ into four Primary Circuit Feeder Pipes attached to the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) at Winfrith.
The operation was undertaken as part of a programme to decommission the cylindrical reactor (SGHWR) which comprises 100 channel tubes beneath, some of which contain Intermediate Level Waste (ILW). Decommissioning the core involves elevating it which in turn presents the risk of ILW falling through the channel tubes. In most instances the ILW is too large to fall out; however, two types of ILW were small enough to fall through four of the channel tubes: the Pencil Loops (50kg) and Interstitial Shield Plugs (10kg).

To remove this risk, preparation work beneath the core was required and it was decided that the safest method was to use a physical plug to prevent any ILW or other debris falling out and through the four channel tubes. Magnox decided that the best and safest option for a physical plug was the SVI FOAMBAG™ system.

Magnox chose to use SVI’s expertise and the FOAMBAG™ system following the company’s successful record of providing similar solutions previously at Winfrith, as well as at Chapelcross, Harwell and Sellafield.

The FOAMBAG™ system was first developed by SVI in the 1980s forflowstopping underground pipes in the safety critical gas distribution industry. For the past 20 years, the company has been working in the nuclear decommissioning and emergency repair sector where FOAMBAG™ technology has proved to be extremely effective in encapsulating and locking down loose contamination.