With a growing requirement for nuclear generating plant life extensions, the continued supply of safety qualified bespoke systems is an increasing challenge. Ultra offers a comprehensive portfolio of services including pro-active design, development, manufacture, integration, installation, outage and operating cycle support service to plant operators in the nuclear and allied industries. The Company has an in-depth understanding of the needs of the industry especially in the areas of high integrity and high reliability systems.
The core of this understanding has its roots from the inception of the UK’s civil nuclear industry in the 1950’s. Its peak was reached with the formation and expansion of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority from the 1960’s until the late 1980’s and the pioneering work that was undertaken to develop the Advance Gas Cooled Reactors. As these came on-line and the demand for further advanced research fell, the organisation was broken up and elements introduced to the private sector. This resulted in significant fragmentation of the key knowledge and a decline in relevant skills.
In recent year’s interest in extending the operational lives of reactor capital plant and an increase in new build have resulted in a resurgence in demand. Ultra recognised this and some 15 years ago began to grow its nuclear system capabilities around its chosen field of reactor core safety critical sensors and instrumentation. This was achieved through internal investment and the acquisition of small organisations holding key intellectual property. It now has over 450 staff working in this area in a dedicated Nuclear Controls business unit. The consequence of this expansion is to create a unique ability to respond to the demands of plant life extension issues for both the UK’s nuclear plant and others worldwide. The effectiveness of this capability is illustrated by the imminent re-establishment of a neutron flux detector design and manufacturing facility at their Wimborne premises.
The capabilities of the team are currently being utilised in developing innovative solutions to the demands of nuclear systems for a range of clients both in the UK and overseas. Such solutions can fit into a legacy support framework or bring historical best practice to bear on the implementation of solutions for emerging nuclear facilities and reactor systems.