Ready For Civil Nuclear

Added 21.04.2015

Manthorpe Engineering has taken another big step in adding civil nuclear to its core of operating industries with a successful assessment by Fit for Nuclear (F4N) assessors from the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC).

The F4N programme has been developed by the University of Sheffield's NAMRC with the support of tier one civil nuclear operators including Areva and EDF Energy. Its aim is to help UK manufacturing companies get ready to bid for work in the civil nuclear supply chain – in new build, operations and decommissioning activities.

Manthorpe’s first step of the journey was taken 18 months ago when an initial online assessment and site visit from F4N assessors confirmed the strengths of Manthorpe’s capabilities and facilities, but highlighted some areas that needed to be addressed in order to meet the rigorous demands of the civil nuclear sector.

In the intervening months, Manthorpe has developed a number of areas on recommendation from the F4N assessors and in March 2015 was reassessed, giving an above industry score for civil nuclear readiness. Manthorpe is also working towards formal certification for OHSAS 18001 health and safety and ISO 14001 environmental management standards to formalise an already exemplary health, safety and environmental performance.

“The F4N programme has been excellent for focusing our efforts on the areas we needed to improve in order to win business in the civil nuclear sector," says Special Projects Director Mark Elliott, who led the team's progress through F4N. “The investment in our new fabrication facility and large machining capability allows us to handle the size of components required; we just needed that extra guidance to fine tune our operating procedures so we are ready go.“

The civil nuclear industry in the UK is set for significant growth in the coming years with energy companies currently planning to build up to 16 Giga Watts of new nuclear power capacity. With the majority of the UK’s current nuclear reactors also set to be decommissioned in the next decade, there are significant opportunities for UK supply chain companies that are civil nuclear ready.

“The civil nuclear industry complements our core business sectors of power generation and marine nuclear perfectly. With the UK’s civil nuclear program set to grow significantly over the coming years, now is the time to show we are capable of doing that kind of work. The latest F4N assessment shows that we are.”

This latest step along the F4N journey will allow Manthorpe to access grant funding for business excellence and research and development activities for the civil nuclear sector. This can cover a range of projects from operational improvements and strategy deployment, to manufacturing process optimisation and applied metrology techniques.

“We know that there are still improvements to be made. The F4N process does not end; it is all about striving for excellence in all areas. This process can not only help us win business in the civil nuclear sector, but also improve our operation as a whole.”