13 Feb 14. Five nuclear facilities across the UK have been identified as potential sites to store waste from nuclear-powered submarines that have left Naval Service, as part of the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP). The sites, which are either owned by the MOD, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) or industry, already hold radioactive materials and have been identified as possible locations to store reactor components from the disused submarines. The MOD has 18 former Royal Naval nuclear submarines currently stored afloat in Devonport and Rosyth but the submarines can only be completely dismantled once the reactor components, which are categorised as radioactive waste, have been safely removed. Nine submarines that are currently still in-service will also be dismantled under the SDP, when they reach the end of their service lives. The initial dismantling process will support up to 60 skilled jobs. Following an assessment of all the UK’s nuclear sites, five sites were considered suitable and have been placed on a provisional shortlist. The potential sites are:
* the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, which are owned by the MOD and run by AWE Plc;
* Sellafield in West Cumbria, owned by the NDA;
* Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire, owned by the NDA;
* Capenhurst in Cheshire, which is run by Capenhurst Nuclear Services.
A public consultation on the possible sites will take place in late 2014 and no decisions will be made until this process is completed. Whichever site is selected will be used as an interim storage site for the reactor components until after 2040, when the UK’s Geological Disposal Facility is planned to come into operation.
10 Feb 14. BAE Systems, has offered assistance in modernising the countrywide network of 41 factories in which the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) manufactures weaponry, ammunition and equipment for the defence forces. The OFB is owned by the ministry of defence (MoD). In 2011-12, OFB factories produced Rs 12,391 crore worth of equipment for the military, with an import content of just 9.82%. Yet, with the oldest of them dating back to 1801, and 8 factories over a hundred years old, an opportunity has been sensed by BAE Systems, which has spearheaded the modernisation and transformation of the UK’s Royal Ordnance Factories since 1987. Speaking to Business Standard, Mark Simpkins, the general manager of BAE Systems India, revealed: “This week we offered to partner the Indian Ordnance Factory Board in modernization their production factories. We made this offer directly to the ministry of defence, and also through the UK government. During DefExpo, we made this offer again. We await a response.” Simpkins points to the OFB’s British origins, and to BAE Systems’ successful experience in modernising similar factories in the UK. He claims: “Today, we are probably are the only people in the world who know exactly how to build a world class ordnance factory, by modernising older production units.” Although OFB has invested steadily in modernisation and expansion, and has increased output from Rs 6,938 crore in 2007-08, to Rs 12,391 crore in 2011-12, it is hard pressed to meet growing Indian demands for defence equipment. Besides the military, the OFB must also supply central armed police forces like the CRPF and the BSF. With OFB capacity insufficient for meeting domestic demand, arms exports languish. Senior OFB officials confirm the BAE Systems offer, but say they would evaluate how that might synergise with the OFB’s own detailed modernisation plans. Sartaj Singh, the OFB Chairman, told Business Standard that the OFB would not hesitate to join hands with a foreign partner if there is a clear technological advantage. (Source: Google/Business Standard) )
07 Feb 14. BAE releases investment options for Glasgow manufacturing facilities. BAE Systems has released