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Home > Stakeholders and Community > Insight - Stakeholder Newsletter > Showcasing UK nuclear skills to China  

Insight Stakeholder Newsletter

Showcasing UK nuclear skills to China

12 February 2013

Representatives from the commercial and policy sectors, including the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC), the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP)The unique talents of British nuclear entrepreneurs were on full display for a delegation of Chinese specialists visiting the NDA's Harwell site last week. 

Based on a 'Dragons' Den' format, eight Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) from the decommissioning supply chain were given the opportunity to make 15-minute presentations to the high-level team of nuclear decision-makers.  

Members of the Chinese team took on the role of Dragons, with simultaneous translation. 

The SMEs were selected from more than 40 submissions to the NDA and invited to pitch their innovative ideas and expertise to the 20-strong team who represented China's commercial and policy sectors.    

"The presentations highlighted unique and creative solutions to some difficult decommissioning challenges, and the level of innovation was hugely impressive," said Ron Gorham, NDA Head of Supply chain Optimisation and SME Champion.    

 Presentations were made by:

Antech 

Quintessa Ltd 

Steve Vick International  

Centronic  

Arvia Technology 

Structure Vision Ltd  

Matom  

REACT Engineering Ltd 

"The event gave some of our niche businesses, all offering unique products, face-to-face exposure to influential decision-makers that would otherwise have been difficult and time-consuming to access.  

"We were delighted to be able to offer SMEs this fantastic opportunity to start the dialogue and I am confident this will contribute to helping some of the UK's smaller, highly specialised businesses to begin making progress in the Chinese market. Feedback from the event already indicates that the Chinese were very impressed by the level of capabilities available in the UK," he added.

The visit was part of a five-day Civil Nuclear Energy Showcase UK' event organised jointly by the NDA, the Government's UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) arm and the British Embassy in Beijing. One of the UK Embassy team was a former NDA nucleargraduate, Peter Edwards.

To build on the event's success and support both the SMEs who made presentations and those who were unable to attend, a brochure will now be drafted, translated into Chinese, containing details of relevant company expertise. The brochure will form part of the follow-up exchanges. 

Feedback from SMEs who made presentations included 
"Arvia has already benefited from contacts in the Chinese market, for their novel organics waste destruction technology, via the UKTI and NDA. Pitching at the NDA's SME Chinese event was a tremendous opportunity to place our exciting waste solution in front of a high-profile audience of key decision-makers from the Chinese nuclear industry." Martin Keighley, Chief Executive of Cheshire-based Arvia 
 "This was a very valuable opportunity and we believe will greatly assist us to enter the Chinese nuclear market." Dr John Mason, Chief Executive of ANTECH, from Oxfordshire

The Chinese team consisted of representatives from the commercial and policy sectors, including the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC), the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). 

A tour of the Harwell site, operated by Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) also formed part of the day, with a visit to the DIDO test reactor, which closed in 1990, and presentations by RSRL's Barry Reynolds and Paul Atyeo on the progress being made towards site restoration. The 'Civil Nuclear Energy Showcase UK' was aimed at showcasing the UK's nuclear skills and giving home-grown companies – including SMEs – access to key decision-makers from China.

In a full programme of events over the five days, members of the UK and Chinese nuclear communities were able to exchange information and views on nuclear development, waste management and decommissioning programmes. 

 

Matthew Downing, Head of the UKTI China Energy Team from the British Embassy in Beijing, said:

"The visit to Harwell provided a valuable opportunity for the Chinese representatives to see decommissioning at first hand, meet the experts involved, ask questions and exchange views. 

"They went away impressed with the expertise demonstrated, the challenges overcome and the excellent decommissioning progress being made. We are very grateful to RSRL for providing them with such an informative and interesting visit."