NES’ history spans back to as early as 1810 when John Thompson started manufacturing boilers for the booming industrial revolution occurring across the UK and Europe. Over a century later in 1955, after extensive development in the industry, the company secured its first nuclear contract to supply the reactor housing to the UK’s Dounreay site. What followed was a strong establishment in the nuclear secor, specialising in the design and manufacture of bespoke engineering solutions for the nuclear energy decommissioning, new build and defence sectors. It has supplied equipment and solutions, such as fuel routes, remote handling, inspection, encapsulation, waste handling, glove boxes, shielded containment and reprocessing to most of the UK’s nuclear power stations.
Since 2014, Ansaldo NES has been wholly owned by Ansaldo Nucleare, part of Italian Group Ansaldo Energia. The financial strength and backing provided by Ansaldo Energia supports the group. Headquartered in Genoa, Italy with offices located worldwide, Ansaldo Energia employs more than 3500 employees and is a worldwide recognised brand in Power Generation with an installed capacity of more than 176 GW over 1800 projects completed in over 90 countries.
Together the companies offer over 60 years’ of UK and international experience in design and manufacture of safety critical engineered products and specialist support services for the nuclear and related industries. With extensive experience in the international nuclear market, the Ansaldo Group brings a wealth of knowledge, capability and skills to support UK programmes in nuclear decommissioning, service to operating plants and new build in particular.
The company’s vision is to establish itself as the supplier of choice for the provision of unique engineering designs, manufacturing products and services, and to be recognised for consistently adding value, delivering excellence and delighting clients in the nuclear and defence markets. To achieve this Ansaldo NES places emphasis on committing to its core values of safety, integrity, people, service and continuous improvement.
With six decades of proven experience and success in the nuclear industry, it is consistently called upon to tackle some of the most complex technical and manufacturing challenges within the decommissioning programme. Ansaldo NES applies its knowledge to offer a full range of services from concept design to onsite installation and operator training, and with everything retained in-house it can ensure to offer the best value solution to its clients.
One of Ansaldo NES’ major clients is Sellafield Limited, to which it has been a long-standing tier two supplier. As Paul Brown, Divisional MD explained, Sellafield is an important customer to Ansaldo. “We have a long valued supplier relationship with Sellafield and the success of the MSSS project has been based around finding collaborative solutions to the most challenging technical issues of any project in the world,” he said. “The technologies required to achieve a successful project outcome are complex and painstaking – this requires a very patient and collaborative customer/supplier relationship. Ansaldo believe the experiences of the last decade positions us very well to deliver projects, which exceed Sellafield’s needs and expectations.”
In 2015, Ansaldo NES completed a significant milestone for Sellafield Limited, entering the dismantling and transportation of the first of three silo emptying plant (SEP) mobile caves,which will be used to retrieve intermediate level waste from 22 vertical silos containing Magnox swarf and miscellaneous beta gamma wastes. Each machine weighs 400 tonnes each, and is assembled from over 13,500 parts. The contract represented significant challenges for purchasing and supply chain management, document control, quality assurance and health and safety, which were all overcome using the extensive expertise supplied by Ansaldo NES.
Mike Hawe, Managing Director at NES commented on the completion of the contract saying: “We are delighted to announce completion of this significant milestone for what is undoubtedly one of the most complex decommissioning programmes in the world. Ansaldo NES has consistently demonstrated the skills and capability to deliver to unique and complex requirements.”
In 2015, Ansaldo NES received the RoSPA Gold Award roll of honour for the third consecutive year. Paul noted that safety is at the forefront of all activities at Ansaldo NES. “So whilst we are very proud to achieve awards such as this, our values standards and expectations dictate that we should,” he said. “We are very proud to have achieved the same award in 2015 which is testament to the laser focus our people have towards safety every day. World class safety performance is an aspiration shared by all Ansaldo NES employees and our commitment to that standard will help us continue to be a supplier of choice to our key customers.”
With regards to new build, NES is a tier one board member of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), which gives the company access to world-class nuclear research and development facilities and programmes, as well as involvement in determining strategy and research directions. Coupling this to the experience and knowledge already inherent in Ansaldo NES makes the company ideally positioned to meet the challenges and assist in the timely and safe delivery of the UK’s nuclear new build programme. It can support the new build sector through the supply of services and equipment for a wide range of complex applications from mechanical fuel handling and waste management equipment, to specialist mechanical devices, steel structures and generic machining and fabrication.
“There is great expectation in the nuclear market and this has been the case for many years,” added Paul. “The future looks very promising with multi billion pound projects on the horizon across all sectors. The challenge for all suppliers in the industry is to develop and retain SQEP people and world-class technologies in what is at the moment a crowded market. At Ansaldo NES, we believe our key strategies will allow us to win our desired share of the current market opportunities whilst positioning ourselves to significantly grow our business when opportunities such as Nuclear New Build come to fruition.”
In order to meet the demands for high quality and service present in such a critical industry, Ansaldo NES places a significant emphasis on its people providing them with a wealth of training and development opportunities. As such, the company is a recognised investor in people and highlights its workforce as a part of its overall continues improvement strategy. Through a range of development schemes, managed through a personal development review for each employee, the company focuses on spotting and enhancing talent and has supported both on and off the job training opportunities such as undergraduate and postgraduate university degrees, NVQs, City and Guilds and BTEC qualifications. Supporting this is a concerted effort to attract the highest quality graduates and apprentices, through a number of ever-growing and specialised programmes.
“Our strategy is based on delivering long term sustainable growth with the right people on board to deliver,” Paul explained. “We are focused on the continued development of the skills and capabilities that we need to operate successfully and realising the additional opportunities now available as part of the Ansaldo group. Our specific focus over the next 12 months is to further develop the combined capabilities of Ansaldo in the UK and Italy to provide a distinct set of services and products aligned to the current and future needs of our customers.”
Ansaldo NES very much sees its continued success in the hands of its people and therefore pays close attention to attracting and developing the best talent in the industry. It attracts its people into a thriving environment founded on a highly regarded heritage and reputation for delivering complex solutions to the nuclear industry. Committing to this strategy and continuing to adhere to its core values will provide the company with the best possible chance to achieving future success, and realising its vision to become the supplier of choice in the UK nuclear industry.
Services: Designs and manufactures bespoke engineering solutions for the nuclear energy, new build, defence and decommissioning markets
Issue 125 October 2015