BAE Systems is set to harness its experience and expertise constructing and commissioning the nuclear power plants for submarines to enhance the UK’s civil nuclear capabilities.
A global company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced engineering systems, BAE Systems is the largest engineering employer in the UK, and constructs and commissions nuclear powered submarines at its facilities in Barrow-in-Furness, where the company employs more than 4,000 people.
BAE Systems is now assessing business opportunities that may exist within the civil nuclear sector as a means of sustaining this core capability for the construction of nuclear submarines.
BAE Systems has already secured a detailed business agreement to work closely with AMEC on civil nuclear business opportunities.
Nuclear powered submarines are amongst the world’s most complex and challenging engineering projects and the nuclear power plants for the new Astute class submarines are integrated, tested and commissioned within the nuclear licensed site in South Cumbria. As nuclear site licensee, the company manages the arrangements for license condition compliance, including documentation of the safety case for activities on the site.
General Manager Nuclear and Export Business for BAE Systems at Barrow, Peter Newman sees huge potential in the company’s experience being deployed in future nuclear projects. He explains:
"BAE Systems is at the forefront of development of modular construction techniques. Modules weighing more than 1,700 tonnes are designed, constructed, tested and integrated within the Barrow facility. Direct access to a non-tidal basin could enable very large items to be transferred by sea from the facility, offering the potential for delivery of pre-commissioned modules to construction sites around the UK coast and further afield."
BAE Systems has the capability to deliver complex engineering projects from concept through commissioning to in-service support, and engineering resources are focused on solutions which deliver functionality against demanding specifications.
Manufacturing and assembly experience is directed towards optimisation of construction strategy. The strong emphasis on modular construction, delivers real advantage through optimisation of construction sequence and a high degree of finishing and functional testing of individual modules.
Modular construction techniques offer real advantages in quality by maximising the extent of construction and testing carried out in a controlled, factory environment;
Optimising construction sequence and reducing re-work keeps the cost base competitive, while reducing construction duration and derisking the final integration and commissioning process underpins the delivery schedule.
Source bae systems 2008