US-based Jacobs has opened a new Engineering and Technology Centre in West Cumbria, UK, to increase its capability to deliver innovative solutions to major decommissioning challenges. Jacobs said on 15 July that the 1,320 m² high-bay facility in Egremont, one mile from the Sellafield nuclear site, will service a growing demand for engineering development expertise to design, build and test new technologies and techniques from concept through to implementation.
“This new facility underlines our commitment to West Cumbria and complements the test rig facilities at our Technology and Innovation Centre in Birchwood, near Warrington, which are used extensively by Sellafield Ltd engineering design teams based nearby,” said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International (CMS-I) Senior Vice President Clive White.
The new centre has a 30m tall high bay test tower, a six-metre-deep test pit, 20 and 60 tonne overhead cranes, conferencing facilities and office space. A full COVID-19 risk assessment, including comprehensive health and safety measures, was carried out before Jacobs staff moved in.
“This new facility will be a centre for collaboration with highly innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Cumbria,“ says Jacobs CMS-I Vice President for Technology and Consulting Greg Willetts. “We see our role as a developer and integrator of technologies, using our knowledge from hundreds of nuclear projects around the world to create fit-for-purpose systems for decommissioning.” He added: “For example, when we developed new methods for decommissioning highly radioactive former reprocessing cells at Sellafield, we brought together a consortium of academic institutions, large businesses and SMEs, who draw on experiences from the medical, space and military sectors, to complement our expertise in radiology, chemistry, physics, material identification, human factors and mechanical/system/process engineering.