NuScale launches UK supplier day
NuScale Power will be holding a Supplier Day in Sheffield to give UK-based nuclear engineering, manufacturing and construction companies the opportunity to meet NuScale representatives and learn about the company’s work. This comes as part of a long-term objective to build NuScale’s UK supply chain in preparation for potential deployment in the UK.
The leading US nuclear Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology developer is keen to develop lasting relationships with UK suppliers, small and large, from straight supply to build-to-print to strategic partnerships. Potential suppliers are being invited to participate in a day of presentations, workshops and one-to-one meetings designed to inform them of the company’s plans for the UK market and how they can become involved in NuScale’s programme.
Speakers will include key members of the NuScale executive team, as well as Fluor Limited, Ultra Electronics and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
The event underlines NuScale’s ambition to work in partnership with UK-based industry as the company continues to expand its presence. It is also participating in the UK Government’s recently announced competition to choose the best value SMR, aimed at seeing SMRs deployed in the UK in the 2020s.
NuScale Power’s Managing Director for the UK and Europe Tom Mundy said: “NuScale’s presence in the UK is growing. Our primary investor Fluor has a longstanding involvement and substantial workforce here and our partners, such as Ultra Electronics, also embody the world-renowned quality of the UK’s offering.
“Our ambition is to involve UK-based companies right across the supply chain, and that’s what our Supplier Day is all about. Conversations we start in the next few months will lay the groundwork for building up our UK supplier base as we head towards developing a capability to be able to deploy in the UK in the 2020s.”
NuScale has spent three years building a presence in the UK and is confident in the British nuclear industry’s capability to deliver on the vision of a multi-billion pound manufacturing and infrastructure venture, which could see NuScale Power Modules manufactured in the UK, deployed in the UK, and exported across Europe, bringing major benefits to the UK in terms of jobs, economic growth, and intellectual property rights.
This builds on activities in the United States where NuScale is at an advanced stage of development compared to its nearest competitors. NuScale is the only SMR developer to be currently receiving US Department of Energy match funding ($217 million over 5 years), the only SMR developer to be close to submitting a Design Certification Application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (this will happen later this year), and the only US SMR developer to have an active customer deployment project. The first NuScale facility is planned to be in operation in 2024 in the state of Idaho.
NuScale’s UK Supplier Day will take place on 13th July 2016 at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of the University of Sheffield.
Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?
Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less.
According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”.
Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge
Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals.
These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects.
Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity.
Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets
And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns.
Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.