Jacobs awarded UK nuclear contracts

20 July 2011

Two nuclear contracts in the UK have been announced by US-based Jacobs Engineering Group - one for a deconversion plant, the other related to the construction of new reactors.


Urenco TMF
A photo of the Capenhurst site showing where the planned TMF will be located (Image: Urenco)
The company said that it will conduct project management, design engineering, procurement, construction management and inactive commissioning of a deconversion facility at Urenco's Capenhurst site for an undisclosed sum.


In 2009, Urenco's board approved the construction of the tails management facility (TMF) at Capenhurst. This will be used to treat a significant part of Urenco's depleted uranium tails, a by-product of the enrichment process, which at present is deconverted by other firms. The tails come from the Capenhurst enrichment facility, whose capacity at the end of 2010 stood at 5 million SWU per year.


Tails, or depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6), is a by-product of the enrichment process. The UF6 has strategic value through its potential for re-enrichment and as such, is safely stored in internationally approved transport cylinders pending future re-enrichment or de-conversion to a form suitable for long-term storage.


The TMF will comprise a UF6 tails de-conversion facility and a number of associated storage, maintenance and residue processing facilities to support Urenco's long-term strategy for the management of tails pending future reuse. Completion of construction and successful achievement of pre-commissioning works is planned for early 2015, with commissioning and operation of the facility scheduled for later that year.


In January 2010, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services announced that it had been selected by Urenco as the preferred electrical, control and instrumentation contractor for the TMF.


New build contract


Last week, Jacobs announced that it had been awarded a consultancy contract by EDF's NNB Generation Company (NNB GenCo), the prospective licensee for future nuclear power plants to be owned and operated within the UK by EDF Energy.


Under the two-year contract, Jacobs will provide technical support to the Design Authority department that 'owns and protects the integrity' of the design and safety case of Areva's UK-specific EPR pressurized water reactor, on behalf of NNB GenCo. This, Jacobs said, is in order to "meet regulatory requirements and to minimize safety, environmental, regulatory and commercial, risk." Again, the value of that contract has not been disclosed.


Under a separate contract, Jacobs is also producing site and preliminary works assessments for two EPR units at EDF Energy's Hinkley Point site in Somerset.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News