steel
The proprietary system has been described as ‘high-tech LEGO pieces’ which aims to significantly reduce the amount of construction labour required to build nuclear reactors on site.
Jane Imrie

UK construction system secures international investment from US Department of Energy

A UK-based steel construction system has secured funding through a multi-million dollar US government funding programme.

Modular steel construction system Steel Bricks has been included in a $5.8m funding programme to be delivered by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Developed by Modular Walling Systems (MWS), based in Renfrewshire, Scotland, the Steel Bricks system is fabricated in the UK by leading structural steelworks manufacturer Caunton Engineering.

The proprietary system has been described as ‘high-tech LEGO pieces’ which aims to significantly reduce the amount of construction labour required to build nuclear reactors on site.

Dr. Stewart Gallocher, the company’s founding director, commented: “The Steel Bricks system is a ‘first of a kind’ concept in the fast-emerging world of steel composite construction.

“Many attempts have been made during the past 25 years to devise simple, safe and rapid fabrication methods to internally connect steel faceplates. But most have lacked commercial application due to being too expensive and labour intensive. We can now successfully deliver a solution which is technologically proficient whilst providing significant cost and time saving benefits.

“This could mark a major leap forward for advanced nuclear construction in its global drive to become a cost-effective, green and sustainable alternative to carbon-based energy provision.”

Welcoming the U.S. DOE funding announcement, Dr. Kathryn Huff, Acting US Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, added: “Construction costs and schedule overruns have plagued new nuclear builds for decades.

“By leveraging advanced construction technologies, we can drive down costs and speed the pace of advanced nuclear deployment - much needed steps to tackle global climate change and meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

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