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Engineers seek input from industry into nuclear best practice guides

Engineering alliance, Engineering the Future (EtF), is today inviting comment from the supply chain and related industries on a series of best practice guides for nuclear new build.

The three guides – Nuclear Lessons Learned Guidance on Best Practice: High Integrity Welding / Concrete / Nuclear Safety Culture – follow on from the alliance’s initial report last year, which identified five common lessons from past and current projects to be applied to the current and future UK new build programme to help ensure timely and efficient delivery.

Building on the general lessons found in Nuclear Lessons Learned (November 2010), the new guides focus on more specific areas of nuclear construction to further aid the industry in successfully delivering a fleet of new nuclear power stations. They were announced by Keith Waller, Department of Energy and Climate Change representative and member of the ETF working group, at the Nuclear Institute (NI) / Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) conference Nuclear New Build 2011 today.

Spokesperson for the alliance, Nuclear Lessons Learned steering group chairman John Earp said: "The UK market is typified by long supply chains and a high degree of sub-contracting, so creating an awareness and understanding of the unique nature of nuclear construction is crucial to minimising project risks. We hope these guides will ultimately help generate behaviours within the UK industry and supply chains that are conducive to successful project delivery."

The guides have been drawn up by working groups led by appropriate engineering institutions -including the Royal Academy of Engineering, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Nuclear Institute, TWI, Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – and consisting of members from Government, regulators, utilities, the supply chain and industry bodies.

Earp added: "A best practice guide should not be prescriptive; it should be intuitive and be drawn from the breadth of experience that already exists. For this reason we want to open these initial documents up to widespread comment from across the industry, ensuring we come to a broad consensus that will best serve us in helping the industry progress the UK new build programme."

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