USA to launch advanced manufacturing centre

17 July 2017

Concurrent Technologies Corp plans to launch a Centre for Advanced Nuclear Manufacturing (CANM) to fill the "critical gap" that exists in providing proven applied advanced manufacturing technologies in the emerging field of small modular reactors and advanced reactors.

Concurrent Technologies, an independent, non-profit, applied scientific research and development professional services organisation, said on 13 July that the CANBM will "solve first-of-a-kind issues, conduct design for manufacturing analysis, and prototype new component designs". Overall, the CANM will support the US nuclear industry's need to reduce acquisition and total ownership costs by developing and transitioning innovative manufacturing solutions, it said.

A "fundamentally different approach" will be needed for SMR/AR systems compared to the current light water reactor systems, it said. The newer reactors are relatively compact and capable of generating up to 600 MWe of power, it said. They can be "factory produced" and transported in a few sections to a designated location for assembly. In addition, these reactors employ passive safety technologies that make them safer to operate, it added.

This "novel" manufacturing approach will challenge both nuclear suppliers and regulators, it said, and "numerous" technical issues must be considered to facilitate efficient SMR/AR production. These range between addressing supply chain capabilities and developing mechanised/automated manufacturing processes to support higher demand volumes.

The US Nuclear Infrastructure Council's (USNIC's) manufacturing and supply chain working group and NIC member companies have thus established a concept for the CANM to meet these challenges, it said. NIC is a US business consortium that advocates for nuclear energy and promotion of the American supply chain globally.

"The NIC Working Group along with motivated NIC member companies conducted an extensive review regarding the best options with the right capabilities to operate the CANM. Concurrent Technologies Corporation emerged as the consensus choice based on its 30-year history and its track record in advanced manufacturing, large infrastructure/highbay space, equipment, testing facilities, and subject matter experts with experience in key technologies including additive manufacturing, casting, cybersecurity for manufacturing, and more," said Vince Gilbert, a senior fellow at NIC.

Edward Sheehan, Concurrent Technologies Corp president and CEO added: "We look forward to working with manufacturing companies and suppliers interested in supporting nuclear facilities and upcoming nuclear construction projects."

To officially launch the centre's operations, two events will be held for manufacturing companies and suppliers interested in supporting nuclear facilities and upcoming nuclear construction projects, as well as business and community leaders. A USNIC Ready4Nuclear Nuclear Suppliers Workshop will be held on 23 August in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the centre's 'open house' will be held the following day in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News