Nuclear

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From our hubs in the UK and Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, we deal with the most technically complex challenges across the full nuclear fuel cycle: from major new build programmes, through asset management for nuclear facilities and waste management challenges, supported by our differentiated technology portfolio.

FEATURES

OUR NUCLEAR INNOVATIONS

What we do

Atkins has more than 60 years' experience in the nuclear sector, servicing all parts of the industry, from new build and generation, to decommissioning and waste management, fuel enrichment, and defence. We have the skills and proven track record to manage the most challenging commissions in the nuclear market place for commercial and government clients worldwide.

As the most complete nuclear services company in the world, we can provide full architect engineer and management & operations (M&O) capability: engineering, project management, project controls, commercial and contract management.

All this means we're well positioned to add value to today's challenges of delivering the next generation of nuclear power plants whilst at the same time maintaining the existing generating fleet and safely decommissioning legacy facilities.

Our 2,000 nuclear professionals have expertise in nuclear design, nuclear operations, nuclear safety, decontamination, decommissioning, waste management and waste processing. These experts can draw on the experience of over 16,000 multidisciplinary specialists from other sectors within Atkins; the leverage of these 'cross-industry' skills sets Atkins apart from many of the traditional nuclear specialist providers around the world.

Projects

We provide a range of services to several DOE projects across the US, at sites including Hanford, Washington; Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Savannah River, South Carolina. Atkins – with partners Westinghouse and Fluor – was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to operate the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facilities at DOE’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky, and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio in 2016. The Mid-America Conversion Services, LLC (MCS) joint venture will operate the DUF6 conversion facilities for the purpose of processing DOE’s inventory of stored DUF6, a coproduct of the uranium enrichment process. The facilities convert DUF6 to depleted uranium oxide for possible future reuse, storage or disposal. A coproduct of the conversion process is hydrofluoric acid (HF), which can be reused in industrial processes. Atkins has been involved at the Portsmouth and Paducah sites for over 10 years and managed the safe construction of the DUF6 plants. Safe and successful operation of the facilities is paramount, as is engagement with the local workforce and community around both plant locations. The team of leading nuclear industry experts will also broker the sale of the aqueous hydrofluoric acid (AqHF) product and provide surveillance and maintenance services for the DUF6 cylinder inventory.

North America ,

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is the world's largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor in southern France which aims to deliver nuclear fusion on a commercial scale, offering safe, limitless and environmentally responsible energy. ITER is the next step in one of the world's leading energy research programmes, and is bringing together the largest nations in a quest to harness nuclear fusion to meet mankind's future energy needs. Since 2010, Atkins has been architect engineer, in partnership with engineering giants Assystem, Egis and Empresarios Agrupados, as part of the Engage consortium. The consortium is in charge of delivering 39 buildings and associated infrastructure for the ITER project, including the 50 x 200m Tokamak complex. The 200-strong integrated team of experts from our Energy and Infrastructure businesses are working together to ensure fusion experiments begin on schedule to help meet the challenge of not only decarbonising but also increasing the world's energy supply. Engage is responsible for supporting the procurement process and construction planning and supervision for the buildings including service and site infrastructure. The scope of work also covers all disciplines of design: Preliminary design Tender design Construction design for nuclear buildings On the project, there are several types of confinement and shielding doors all with seismic withstand capability, including: 46 remotely controlled port cell doors, with confinement and shielding (up to 350mm thick steel equivalent) with an opening size of four metres by four metres 12

France ,

In 2012, the Canadian government (which until that point owned the sites) decided to transform the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories from an Owner/Operator model to a Government Owned Contractor Operated (GoCo) concept in a similar fashion to how the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) appointed contractors to transform the clean-up and waste management program in the United Kingdom. CNEA won an international competition in 2015 for CNL, which represents the entire Government of Canada nuclear estate, with the 10-year contract worth around C$7 billion. Atkins is honored to be part of the team assisting Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), a federal Crown corporation responsible for the long-term, contractual arrangement with CNEA for the management and operation of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. Chalk River The main Canadian Nuclear Laboratories site is located at Chalk River, Ontario, about 180km north of Ottawa. The Chalk River site is the home of the remaining operating nuclear reactor, nuclear operations to support medical isotope production, a diverse science and technology group, and an organization focused on environmental remediation and decommissioning. Governance for the contract is executed through the CNEA Board of Directors, while operational oversight is provided by the CNL Board of Directors which is chaired by Mark Morant, president of Atkins’ Energy Americas business. Atkins and its partners has seconded employees in key executive and management positions at CNL. The Atkins team deployed on contract include six employees working at Chalk River and at a reactor decommissioning site north west of Chalk River called Nuclear Production Demonstrator (NPD). Patrick Daly, senior

North America ,

In order to understand what happens to nuclear reactor graphite outside of the original design life of the AGR, EDF Energy established Project Blackstone, in partnership with Atkins, NRG and Frazer-Nash Consultancy, which aimed to simulate accelerated ageing of reactor graphite. In an experiment that has never been attempted before, ageing of the graphite has been accelerated (at a rate approximately 5-10 times faster than normal) in order to extend the existing graphite properties database for future AGR operation and better understand the safe operating envelope. This knowledge is strategically important for the future provision of energy in the UK. The reactor’s graphite core plays an essential role in the safe operation of an AGR, ensuring unimpeded movement of fuel and control rods under all operating and fault conditions. The graphite core is critical to the operating lifetime of the AGR as it cannot be repaired or replaced. In order to ensure safe operation the structural integrity and dimensional stability of the graphite blocks comprising the reactor core must be assessed, understood and maintained. Graphite bricks suffer from weight loss due to oxidation in the atmosphere of the reactor which is heavy with carbon dioxide. Graphite must still be able to

UK ,

Atkins undertook a Power Plant Siting Study (PPSS) research project to contribute to a major report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) into the importance of low carbon technologies in the UK power mix. The report, titled “The role for nuclear within a low carbon energy system”, looked at both small and large scale nuclear power and how both could potentially play a crucial role in the move to an affordable low carbon economy. We were appointed in June 2014 to carry out the PPSS to inform the ETI’s scenario modelling of the transition towards future UK low carbon energy systems. We applied existing nuclear power station siting criteria to clarify the potential for expanded nuclear deployment to analyse the siting constraints of potential locations for new low carbon and nuclear power stations. The PPSS delivered a baseline assessment of siting capacity for large nuclear power stations in England and Wales, and then examined a wide range of sensitivity studies including indicative site capacity for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), and the potential for competition for sites between nuclear and CCS power stations. The full report from the ETI can be viewed at www.eti.co.uk/the-role-for-nuclear-within-a-low-carbon-energy-system/    

UK ,

The 13,000 square-foot facility houses large-scale apparatus to support testing for Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant (WTP), helping to ensure its successful progress while reducing risk to workers and the environment. The Large-Scale Integrated Test (LSIT) platform is vital to the success of the WTP. Testing will allow designers to verify and/or revise designs of critical mixing equipment prior to installation in the plant. The facility will also provide a future operating laboratory environment for Washington State University Tri-Cities (WSU –TC) students and faculty to gain hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematical experience. Following the removal of a 30-ton stainless steel vessel from the Full-Scale Vessel Test Facility (watch on YouTube), in August 2016 the new Vitrification Plant Vessel arrived and was lifted into position at the site. Watch the video on YouTube following the vessel's journey from the fabrication facility in Vancouver, Washington to Richland.

North America ,

The cleanup of the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond at Sellafield is widely acknowledged as one of the most challenging projects in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s complex estate, and Atkins has been essential to its progression for over a decade. As part of the ACKtiv Nuclear joint venture with Jacobs and Carillion, we are providing engineering, project management, safety and implementation services to safely export hazardous waste fuel, debris and sludge from wet storage. Our portfolio of projects at the site includes: Support of waste retrieval from wet bays as part of a fast-tracked programme of work to decommission priority high-hazard facilities. The Legacy Pond is situated in a particularly congested part of the Sellafield site, making it a uniquely tough engineering challenge that required the full breadth of Atkins’ engineering experience Design of new plant items to support retrieval of contaminated waste metal from the storage ponds. Our multidisciplinary team completed the work to an extremely tight timescale (just six months), while maintaining compliance with all client design processes Refurbishment of the fuel route through the facility, which was originally designed to receive fuel from power stations. The Legacy Pond was constructed in the 1960s, to the design standards of the time. Using our deep knowledge of UK nuclear regulations and processes, we have designed modifications to support installation of new equipment for retrieving and processing material safely Civil structural surveys to ensure the integrity of the 60-year-old

UK ,

 URENCO is playing a critical role in the future of nuclear new build in the UK, and we are supporting it in delivering its capital investment programme. This includes investing in new facilities, as well as delivering upgrades at existing sites.  Our nuclear enrichment team are working together with colleagues from across the company, leveraging the full capability of Atkins to deliver cost-effective solutions at URENCO’s site in Capenhurst, northwest England. The site operates three plants producing enriched uranium to enable nuclear power stations around the world to generate electricity. To date, Atkins has been required to mobilise in excess of 250 people to provide design, engineering, safety case and project and programme management services to URENCO UK. We have been engaged in a diverse suite of nuclear and non-nuclear projects and have provided embedded resource to augment and upskill the client’s capability. Our work includes: • Single and multi-discipline design for a range of new facilities and facility upgrades, including:     o Facilities associated with an emergency arrangements upgrade on the site.     o Facilities associated with extending/increasing the site’s enrichment capacity and capability.     o An upgrade to the site water services on the Capenhurst site, covering new raw water supply connection and holding ponds and upgrades to the onsite sewage treatment works.     o Installation of new ducting across the site to increase the capacity of the existing network in support of the delivery of further projects.     o New car parks in order to relocate the existing car park outside of the operational site boundary. • Safety case support to progress the Long-Term Periodic Review (LTPR)

UK ,

Expertise

In 2014 Atkins acquired Nuclear Safety Associates, the US nuclear industry’s foremost authority for nuclear safety, regulatory compliance and licensing. This was further complemented by the acquisition of the Projects, Products and Technology (PP&T) division of EnergySolutions in 2016. This has allowed us to combine Atkins’ existing engineering, nuclear safety, project management and project controls expertise with PP&T’s innovative technology, operations and waste management solutions.

Nuclear new build

Our nuclear new build experience includes projects such as ITER in France and the UAE’s nuclear new build programme in Barakah, working with clients including ENEC, Horizon Nuclear Power, NuGen, EDF Energy and Fusion for Energy. We have a unique offering for new build projects including:

  • Extensive knowledge of the legislative and regulatory framework in the UK, Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific
  • An ability to mobilise large multidisciplinary design teams
  • Nuclear specific skills in such areas as fuel route and waste management
  • Expertise in extreme loading and design for hazards
  • A leading position as a major infrastructure delivery organisationUsing skills from across the wider Atkins business to provide technical innovation and shared learning for the benefit of project delivery
  • Experience of operating through the nuclear new build project lifecycle from establishing nuclear regulatory frameworks, through to construction and commissioning, including provision of commercial and financial services to support the delivery of new build projects

Fuel enrichment

Atkins is supporting URENCO in delivery of its CAPEX programme to deliver major infrastructure upgrades. Services provided include the provision of infrastructure and project management services. URENCO is a key player within the field of nuclear fuel supply chain.

The combination of these diverse skills allows Atkins to offer solutions to a wide range of clients including utilities, reactor vendors, regulatory bodies and contractors.

Nuclear design

Our Nuclear Design business is a growing centre of excellence in integrated mechanical design solutions. Our range of in-house skills enable us to develop designs from concepts to fully substantiated manufacturing detail.  Key clients include URENCO, Magnox Ltd, Sellafield Ltd and Rolls Royce.

Generation

Atkins is a tier 1 strategic partner to EDF Energy for the supply of engineering, safety and environmental services to maintain their existing fleet of AGRs and PWR in the UK. Atkins is also part of the Strategic Supply Chain Partnership for EDF Energy’s Nuclear Generation business.

Under EDF’s Technical Support Alliance, we’ve provided more than 350 man years of support to the nuclear fleet, with key contributions in the areas of:

  • Graphite core programme in support of life extension
  • Fuel route improvement programme
  • Periodic safety review programme
  • Key recovery projects such as the HYA Boiler Spine
  • Programme management and front end engineering
  • Japan earthquake response programme

Decommissioning

We offer the full range of services for the decommissioning and remediation of nuclear sites and facilities, management of spent nuclear fuel, the transportation of nuclear material and the environmental clean-up of nuclear legacy sites.

In the UK, we’ve been involved in nuclear clean-up since the late 1980s working with clients such as Sellafield Ltd, Magnox Ltd, Research Sites Restoration Limited (RSRL) and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). We were quick to recognise that the engineering skills acquired in the offshore sector were transferable to the nuclear clean-up market where there was a demand for remote operations.

Recent examples in this sector include:

Sellafield, UK: As part of the ACKtiv Nuclear joint venture, we are providing engineering, project management, and safety and implementation services to safely export hazardous waste fuel, debris and sludge from wet storage.

Hunterston, UK: We undertook the detailed design completion for the Magnox encapsulation plant.

Chapelcross and Dungeness, UK: Atkins is designing a process and associated mechanical handling equipment to allow retrieval and packaging of legacy intermediate level waste (ILW) from cooling ponds for Magnox.

The Areva-Atkins Partnership UK: Our relationship with Areva, the world’s largest nuclear company to form the Areva-Atkins Partnership UK, allows us to provide unique access to Areva’s international decommissioning technology.

Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan: We’re working with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to undertake fire hazard analysis services. Our innovative software package, GLASS, will help TEPCO make critical decisions about the safety of the plant by improving speed, accuracy and transparency.

Waste Management

We’re a market leader in designing solutions for the treatment and stabilisation of high and intermediate hazard level nuclear waste in North America. Our portfolio includes innovative, proprietary nuclear waste treatment technologies such as NOH2O (a water sealing technology), as well as other water treatment and vitrification solutions.

We’re also working under a framework on Sellafield Ltd’s Lot 1 Decommissioning Delivery Partnership (DDP), which involves decommissioning and maintenance work on a broad range of facilities on the site, including the legacy Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP), the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS) and Calder Hall. 

Incorporating new technology early in our client’s concepts means their future waste management challenges can be achieved more cost effectively.

Defence

Atkins supports the nuclear defence sector through operations focused on the nuclear propulsion programme and Atomic Weapons Establishment in the UK, and has also undertaken work for the US Navy and Rolls Royce.

Our services to the submarine enterprise range from concept design, through support to build and operation of in-service assets, to final disposal. Much of our work is focused on the design, substantiation or safety justification of plant components, facilities, systems and structures.

New Build

We have extensive knowledge of the legislative and regulatory frameworks required to operate existing plants and develop new nuclear in commercial and federal markets worldwide. This includes Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)-licensed fuel cycle and isotope production facilities. In addition, as a leading infrastructure design house we’re able to mobilise multidisciplinary teams to provide owner engineer and architect engineer services.In the US, our federal experience spans more than a decade providing high calibre staff to provide solutions to complex nuclear safety, security and specialist nuclear engineering problems. We have successfully delivered work on the majority of sites in the Department of Energy (DOE) complex. We offer a comprehensive service to our commercial and federal clients along six business lines. Click here for more information about our services.

Angles

Catherine Tait
31 May 2017

It’s become a cliché to say that things are changing now faster than ever before. And in the march forward with computing power, communications, political and social changes, it can be hard to keep up and be sure that we are in a good place. It’s difficult enough at an individual level, but at an organisational level, change, whether desired or enforced is a whole different matter. Automation, increased shareholder expectations of cost and value, and the resultant focus on the people cost of industries, creates a continuous focus on the number of people and the roles they are fulfilling. When we look at changes for our clients in high hazard industries, there’s an additional complication: the right size of an organisation operating a high hazard plant like a refinery, oil platform or nuclear power station is not based on the normal running of the plant, it’s based on the number of people you need to respond when things start going wrong, where the decision making ability of the operators and management is critical to turning a potential high consequence hazard around to a low-consequence outcome. Operators and organisations are trained to understand their hazards, and how to respond to the developing scenario appropriately. My former boss tells the story of visiting his offshore facility and using the scenarios he had modelled in developing the safety cases are prompts for exercises, becoming the “author of his own destruction”, at least in a drill! There are many stories

UK & Europe ,

Richard Piggin
19 May 2017

The WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor malware has affected 150 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, France, and Japan. Several variants have already been reported, all presently targeting Windows-based operating systems, including embedded versions. Further variations, which could target other operating systems such as Linux, are anticipated. Early indications suggested email phishing campaigns initially infected computers, using email attachments and malicious websites links have been confirmed. The worm then spreads across networks. While assurances have been given regarding the loss of patient data, the malware provides backdoor access to victim’s computers, so data theft is a distinct possibility. Yet, the issue isn’t just about the security of patient information, it’s also about preventing patient harm. This is not an isolated incident. Similar incidents have already occurred in the healthcare sector, even in the UK. Only a few hospitals were affected, attracting limited publicity and concern. Many more medical facilities belonging to the U.S. MedStar Health provider were severely disrupted last year. The impact of such attacks also feature in a new BSI publication on Medical Device Cyber Security, which describes the convergence of safety and security risk, along with defensive principles. Other sectors have also been impacted  including UK,  French and Romanian car plants and the German rail operator. Spanish victims included telecoms multinational Telefonica, and utilities Iberdrola and Gas Natural. Critical infrastructure asset owners have been impacted by ransomware in the past, including several power utilities. Organisations with unsupported operating systems or ineffective patching programmes will continue to be vulnerable. At best,

UK & Europe ,

Aubrey Keller
14 Mar 2017

Atkins’ acquisition of Howard Humphreys, a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy based in Kenya and Tanzania, has the potential to open up access to any number of infrastructure projects across East Africa. We hope energy projects will play a key role, and to help facilitate that I recently moved from the UK to live in Nairobi. Howard Humphreys has an excellent reputation across the broader East Africa region. In all my dealings with those in the engineering industry locally, individuals always speak very highly of Howard Humphreys and their previous infrastructure projects. Now, combining Howard Humphreys traditional expertise with the skills and abilities Atkins’ global Energy business has in nuclear, conventional power, renewables, and oil and gas, we hope to grow our engineering and design capabilities in the energy market in East Africa and beyond. We think there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. Kenya’s installed generation capacity is roughly 2.5 GW (40% hydro, 30% other renewables, 30% conventional) however the electrification rate is only 25% - 40%, depending on which statistics you look at. The per capita demand for electricity is below average, which can be attributed to the low electrification rate and few, large industrial consumers, among other reasons. Significant investment and efforts have already been committed to upgrade and expand transmission and distribution infrastructure, with more planned. Aside from increasing electrification rates, these activities also seek to increase overall grid reliability and robustness to support increased integration of intermittent renewable generation. Increasing electrification rates in rural areas

Rest of World ,

Julianne Antrobus
27 Feb 2017

We’ve talked about small modular reactors (SMR) before, looking at what they are and what the benefits and potential drawbacks of the technology are. Since then, industry around the world has been working hard to push forward the development of SMRs ready to bring to market. The development of SMRs gives UK plc the opportunity to develop home grown intellectual property, create skilled jobs and to be an exporter of technology which can be sold around the world. Whilst it remains largely theory at the moment, two different categories of SMRs are now leading the way in development and we took the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of each at the recent Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) SMR conference. Atkins is taking a leading role in working with government and industry to push forward the SMR development agenda, and our engineering experience across the energy sector puts us in a great position to assist developers find an engineering solution that will work to bring SMRs to reality. The more developed designs coming forward are integral pressurised water reactors (IPWR), often referred to as third generation (GEN III). Made of the same four major components that make up a standard large scale light water reactor (LWR) or pressurised water reactor (PWR): the reactor, stream generators, pumps and the pressuriser. Integral is the key word: in the integral SMR, there is one vessel and all of these four components are either inside or directly part of the SMR vessel, removing all of the

UK & Europe , North America , Middle East & Africa , Asia Pacific ,

Products

MALPAS

Malpas  

MALPAS is one of the world’s most rigorous and advanced software analysis and verification toolsets. Use of MALPAS is in the UK Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) guidelines. It has been used to verify safety critical software programmes at the Temelin Nuclear Power Station, and at Sizewell B.
www.malpas-global.com

GLASS

GLASS
 

GLASS illustrates logic relationships within equipment, systems, infrastructure or organisations, and is immensely valuable in planning and safety analysis, incident management and training. Its Facility Response Simulation includes customisable modules specifically for emergency response in nuclear facilities, helping personnel quickly visualise and understand current operating status, equipment unavailability and/or failures.
http://www.nsaglass.com

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