National Nuclear Laboratory and Bangor University sign MoU to boost new nuclear development in Wales

MoU Signed by NNL and Bangor University

On 29 July 2022, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and Bangor University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two organisations work together to advance education and innovation for nuclear in Wales. The MoU will have NNL, Bangor University and the Nuclear Futures Institute share access to infrastructure, facilities and equipment to further the nuclear efforts in the region.

NNL’s direct investment in Wales has grown substantially as they have built partnerships with local businesses and educational institutions – as seen in our earlier article – where NNL have already opened a new office in M-SParc, North Wales’ flagship Science Park for Business, Innovation and Technology.

Speaking at the event of the signing of the MoU, Dr Paul Howarth, Chief Executive Officer of the National Nuclear Laboratory, said:

“As we look to secure the UK’s clean energy future through more advanced nuclear technologies, we recognise the impact and value of Wales as a centre of nuclear science and innovation. The development of our existing relationship with Bangor University, formalised through the new MoU, demonstrates our commitment to driving the research, skills and capabilities that will be needed here and across the UK.”

Bangor University and National Nuclear Labs Staff sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
From left: Dr Michael Rushton, Senior Lecturer, Professor Simon Middleburgh, Sêr Cymru Professor, newly appointed Vice-Chancellor for Bangor University, Professor Edmund Burke, Professor Bill Lee, Director of the Nuclear Future Institute, Professor Nick Smith, NNL University Lead and NNL Fellow (geoscience), Dr Paul Nevitt, Science and Technology Director at NNL, Chris Drew, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Projects, Bangor University. Front row, from left: current Vice-Chancellor Professor Iwan Davies, Dr Paul Howarth, CEO of NNL, Dr Fiona Rayment OBE, Chief Science and Technology Officer at NNL.

Professor Bill Lee, Director of the Nuclear Futures Institute added

“The NFI has collaborations with NNL in research into thermal hydraulics – reactor plumbing – and accident tolerant nuclear fuels. This MoU will enable us to expand into areas such as nuclear medicine, structural integrity, control and instrumentation and co-generation of hydrogen and jet-fuel from nuclear generated electricity. Support from NNL for Bangor University’s new General Engineering undergraduate programme, recruiting for 2023 entry, will help train a new generation of engineers to underpin all low carbon technologies in North Wales.”

The NFI was delighted to welcome the new Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University, Professor Iwan Davies, to sign the MoU who too added his comments:

Our developing links with NNL sit well with our vision for Bangor University to be world-leading in low carbon energy generation. The region currently has extensive projects ongoing for marine tidal, offshore wind, solar, and hydrogen generation and our plans for Egni – a Low Carbon Energy Centre of Excellence funded through the North Wales Growth Deal will be strengthened by collaborations with leaders in nuclear technology such as NNL.

Going Forward

The Nuclear Futures Institute is very excited in respect to the future of nuclear in North Wales. The signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will pave the way to ensure that our Government’s goals of Net Zero by 2050 will be realised through the utilisation of the Wylfa and Trawsfynydd nuclear licensed sites.