Steelwork complete on UKAEA Yorkshire building

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Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for development and investment, has completed the steel superstructure ahead of the unit’s practical completion in September.

The UKAEA Yorkshire facility will provide a unique testing centre for fusion reactor components such as blankets and divertors. It will evaluate novel metals and ceramics in conditions akin to the inside of a fusion reactor, including high heat flux, in-vacuum, and strong magnetic fields.

Its location on the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Rotherham puts it at the heart of the UK’s manufacturing region, allowing UKAEA to work with industry and research organisations on fusion technology.

The 22,300 sq.ft. unit, which is being built by Sheffield based contractor, JF Finnegan, on Harworth’s behalf, will comprise office accommodation split over two floors and a research laboratory at ground floor level. UKAEA will be taking a 20-year lease and will employ 40 highly skilled people – continuing the authority’s close working relationship with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).

The new facility is being funded as part of the Government’s Nuclear Sector Deal delivered through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. An additional £2 million of investment is coming from Sheffield City Region’s Local Growth Fund, thereby helping UKAEA join other leading occupiers at the Advanced Manufacturing Park including Rolls-Royce, Boeing and McLaren Automotive, and further strengthening the park’s standing as being at the centre of high-value employment in the UK.

Colin Walters, Director of the National Fusion Technology Platform, UKAEA, said: “We are delighted that the construction of the unit is on-track and the completion of its superstructure helps to bring the project alive. This facility will provide fantastic opportunities for UK businesses to win contracts and put UKAEA in a great position to help deliver the necessary expertise for the first fusion power stations.”

Duncan Armstrong-Payne, Associate Director – Major Projects, Harworth Group plc, added: “We and our contractors have battled the elements to get to this point and I delighted to announce that we have reached this milestone in the project and are on track to complete this game-changing facility. We look forward to UKAEA’s staff joining the 2,000 people already employed at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, continuing the site’s ongoing success as one of the North’s key developments offering exciting employment opportunities.”

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