The UK nuclear industry is set to receive a major helping hand from wind power. BAM Construction is weeks away from completion of a major development on the Advanced Manufacturing Park for the University of Sheffield. The scheme includes the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which opened in October, and the Knowledge Transfer Centre. The Nuclear AMRC will be used to develop techniques to allow UK manufacturers to provide key components for nuclear power stations around the world. Combining the experience of industry with the skills of universities, the advanced facility is being powered by the first Powerwind 56 turbine installed in the UK. BAM recently installed the German-manufactured wind turbine outside the research centre in Rotherham. Standing 99 metres tall, it has generated 170 Mwh since it first started production on 6 December, equivalent to the annual electricity use of 50 households. The turbine will generate electricity to power the facility, and feed any excess to the National Grid. BAM project manager Nick Howdle said: "The turbine is the first of its kind in this country. "Within six years it will have paid for itself and any electricity sold to the grid after that time will be pure profit. "This turbine shows German engineering at its best and BAM is pleased to have played a part in introducing it to the UK." The £18.9m Nuclear AMRC and KTC project is due for completion on 17 February. It is being led by the University of Sheffield with support from Rolls-Royce, Areva, and Westinghouse. As well as wind power, the facility uses ground source heat pumps with a capacity of 850kW heating and 690Kw cooling.
The building has been designed to Excellent BREEAM standards, emphasising the contribution nuclear power can bring to a low carbon economy.