A MULTIMILLION-pound deal will see the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) now be able to call on the expertise of world-leading engineering firms for its work.

The Government agency, which owns the Culham Science Centre and has a stake in the Harwell Campus, has signed a four-year-long partnership with nine companies.

It will allow the firms to work closely with UKAEA, which researches the development of nuclear fusion energy and its related technologies.

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The arrangement means UKAEA can call upon experts as and when needed to undertake a range of projects. There is also the opportunity for providers to work together on initiatives costing more than £100,000.

Paula Barham, UKAEA Head of Procurement, said: “This framework brings exciting opportunities for UKAEA; to work collaboratively with the Supply Chain and maximise the potential value within those relationships. This is vital to UKAEA succeeding and positioning the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy”.

The collaboration features companies with a background in some, or all of, the following: mechanical engineering, process engineering, computer-based modelling and simulations, minor structural engineering for design, specialist nuclear services, and electrical, control and instrumentation.

Gary Stables, Engineering Design Office Group Leader at UKAEA, said: “I look forward to working closely with our industrial partners, and working together to solve some of the challenges we will encounter on the road to a commercially viable fusion powerplant.”

The companies which are part of the framework are: Assystem, DBD, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs, Frazer Nash, Atkins, IDOM, Mott MacDonald, and M5tec.