The UK's National Nuclear Laboratory has joined international nuclear front-end and vendor trade association the World Nuclear Association (WNA).
The government-owned laboratory operates as a commercial business and currently receives no direct grant funding from government. It has facilities at Sellafield and Workington in Cumbria, Preston in Lancashire, Risley in Cheshire, Stonehouse in Gloucestershire and Harwell in Oxfordshire.
NNL Managing Director, Paul Howarth, commented: "NNL is increasingly doing business with customers and research partners from outside the UK. The UK's recent Nuclear Industrial Strategy made clear the Government's desire for NNL to take a leading role on behalf of the UK in dealings with the worldwide nuclear industry, and membership of WNA is a central part of our work to achieve this aim.
"We are looking forward to working closely with colleagues in WNA as we take forward plans in a number of different markets - both mature nuclear nations and those which are considering nuclear energy for the first time."
WNA Director General Agneta Rising added: "Nuclear research and innovation continue to take on ever greater importance globally, as more and more countries are starting to embark on nuclear power programmes and existing facilities are seeking to improve every aspect of their performance.
"With NNL moving more and more onto the international stage, WNA membership will open the gateway to new markets. With their extensive experience I'm sure they will find many opportunities to prosper."
IMAGE: A rear view of the phase 3 hot cell facility at NNL's Central Laboratory, Sellafield, currently under commissioning.