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Steel industry leads nuclear feasibility study

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The Technology Strategy Board has awarded funding for a feasibility study into the design of modular construction for nuclear facilities, with Caunton Engineering, SCI and Amec Nuclear UK forming the initial partnership.

They will investigate the design of steel concrete steel modular construction and  the feasibility of producing a national and international standard for nuclear use. They will also assemble guidance that can be adopted in its present form and identify new information that must be generated.

SCI Director, Bassam Burgan said: “Steel concrete steel modular construction is primarily offsite and therefore speeds up the construction programme. It has been estimated that it could reduce the timescale for the construction of a nuclear plant from eight years to four years.”

The modules would consist of two steel panels with long shear studs connecting to a  concrete middle. Many of the buildings, including those housing the reactor, could be constructed using this method. The modules could be of various sizes, but one of the objectives is to investigate the feasibility of supplying sub-assemblies by a medium sized steelwork contractor.

Representing steelwork contractors, Caunton Engineering is the leader of the exercise. “We will give the study an industrial viewpoint and advise on what is practical and how to produce cost efficiently,” summed up Caunton Engineering Managing Director Simon Bingham.

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