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2 minute read - 28th march 2024

William Cook opens state-of-the-art £2m radiography centre

William Cook Cast Products has opened a state-of-the-art radiography centre as part of a £5m investment programme to consolidate its position as a supplier of safety-critical, high-integrity steel components to the civil and naval nuclear industries. The Sheffield-based company designs, manufactures and overhauls parts and systems for applications where safety, reliability and traceability are critical.

The new £2m centre is one of the very few facilities of its kind in the UK and contains 9MeV (mega-electron volt) and 3MeV linear accelerators to generate x-rays hundreds of times as powerful as hospital machines. The non-destructive testing capabilities allow the company to inspect any of its steel castings, weighing from a few grammes to 12 tonnes, to confirm they are free from internal flaws as part of the quality assurance process.

William Cook Cast Products has opened a £2m state-of-the-art radiography centre as part of a wider £5m investment programme / Picture: William Cook

The two-cell facility is encased within a purpose-built blockhouse constructed with 4,000 tonnes of concrete and up to 100 tonnes of steel reinforcement with 14-tonne lead doors and 3-metre deep walls. The £5m heavy foundry investment programme includes an extended metallurgical laboratory, which is working towards the internationally recognised ISO 17025 standard, a new argon oxygen decarburization (AOD) unit for the secondary refinement of stainless steels and a new robotic manipulator to transfer red-hot castings into the heat treatment facility.

The programme has created 15 new jobs, including a number of new technical roles at graduate level to strengthen the company’s dedicated nuclear project team. New products include radioactive waste containers and components for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.

Chris Seymour, group managing director, said: “The UK is planning the biggest expansion of nuclear power for 70 years to improve energy security and is investing billions of pounds in its nuclear-powered submarine fleet. Our new facility is essential to ensure the integrity of high-specification steel components in the high temperature and high pressure of nuclear environments. We continue to invest millions of pounds in advanced machinery, metallurgical excellence and technical sophistication to support the civil and naval nuclear sectors.”

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