Duke sees the grand scale of investment in R-R's nuclear nerve centre in Derby
THE numbers involved in the updating of the Rolls-Royce's Raynesway site are as staggering as the advanced technology designed and developed there.
The Duke of Kent, the Queen's cousin, yesterday opened Atlantic House, the latest milestone in a scheme to modernise the site and keep it at the forefront of submarine and civil nuclear technology for decades to come.
Workers at the high-security Raynesway site design, manufacture and provide technical support to the Royal Navy's fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
Atlantic House, where much of Rolls-Royce's nuclear expertise is now based, is the second phase of the regeneration scheme that involves investment of more than £1.5 billion.
Orders taken over £2000 , will receive £100 off and the option to take 2 years interest free credit
Terms: £100 off only on orders over £2000 with the option to take 2 years interest free credit , this offer ends bank holiday Monday 27th may 4 pm , this voucher must be printed and presented on ordering .
Contact: 01332 419898
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
The first part of the project was a £39 million factory to produce components for reactors, which opened last year.
The third, and largest, piece of the Raynesway jigsaw is the construction of the submarine reactor core manufacturing facility, which began two weeks ago.
The factory will produce fuel for the reactor cores to be used on the Astute and Successor class of submarines, the latter being part of a contract with the Ministry of Defence worth more than £1 billion.
Lawrie Haynes, who heads both the submarine and civil nuclear programme, has high hopes for the future of the Raynesway operation.
He said: "Over the last 50 years, we have designed two nuclear reactor types and are now designing PWR3 for the next generation of submarines. This is a programme of work that will go on into the mid-2020s."
It is Mr Haynes' responsibility to grow both the submarine and civil nuclear business. He said: "Today there are over 400 nuclear reactors operating in the world and between 380 and 390 new ones to be built, which means there is scope to use our expertise to grow our civil nuclear business within the Rolls-Royce group."
His ambition is for Rolls-Royce to become a "champion" in the nuclear power sector and is working at developing its supply chain, which includes a number of specialist firms in Derby.
Mr Haynes said: "We are the technical authority, design the whole reactor, operate reactors and understand the safety case, without which operating in this market is impossible.
"This is all good news for Derby, where Rolls-Royce is investing and securing jobs and looking at opportunities for growth long into the future.
"We are delighted that the Duke of Kent accepted our invitation to come to Derby to mark the latest step in our development and to see some of the important work we do in support of the Royal Navy's submarine programme."
In his speech, the Duke of Kent drew attention to the Royal family's diplomatic role in helping bring advanced nuclear technology to the Derby from the US.
He said: "It may not be a well-known fact but my family has been associated with the country's submarine programme for as long as Rolls-Royce.
"Appointed First Sea Lord in 1955, Lord Louis Mountbatten played a major role in developing the future direction of the Royal Navy.
"He concluded that a proposal for a nuclear submarine would greatly improve performance over the current design and warranted the associated investment required.
"In 1956 Mountbatten met with Rear Admiral Hyman Rikover, known as the father of the nuclear navy, starting what was seen to be a decisive relationship in future UK and US co-operation."
This led to the formation of Rolls-Royce and Associates, created in 1959 to manage the purchase of the UK's first submarine reactor.
The business was set up at Raynesway, initially employing just 144 people.
"It was this continued co-operation that culminated in the launch of our country's first nuclear submarine, HMS Dreadnought, by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1961," said the duke.
"It's therefore a great pleasure for me to represent my family here today to maintain our ties with the submarine service and Rolls-Royce."
Also present at yesterday's ceremony was Real Admiral Simon Lister, director of submarines at the Ministry of Defence. He said: "Atlantic House is an excellent facility that will enable Rolls-Royce and its UK Submarine Enterprise colleagues to work effectively and efficiently together to meet the needs of the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy."