The company said the funding from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would go toward a project that aims to work out the best way to build and test large modules at off-site locations before transporting them to nuclear sites for installation.
The Fit for Modules project is supported by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), Arup, Fraser Nash and Laing O’Rourke.
Cammell Laird energy division managing director Jonathan Brown (pictured) said there are many advantages to building off-site including cost savings, more efficient build and schedule times and not having to recruit a large temporary workforce to build on-site.
He said working out the best way to build a supply chain would be a prime goal of the project, while finding significant cost efficiencies would be fundamental.
“The [UK] nuclear new build programme estimates a potential spend of up to à‚£100bn over 30 years,” he said. “It is therefore imperative that as an industry we make the programme work from a cost and schedule perspective, stripping out waste and any unnecessary expense.”
He added that the project could “lay the foundation blocks for the UK to develop a complete industry specializing in off-site modular build”.
“If we can make a success of building modules for the domestic nuclear sector we can spin that expertise out to export markets as the UK looks to ramp up exports post-Brexit.”
In March the firm announced a partnership with the Nuclear AMRC to open a development centre for modular manufacturing methods for new-build reactors of all sizes, drawing on “a host of innovative technologies to significantly reduce costs and lead times for nuclear new build”.