Abingdon-based SME, Oxford Technologies, has been awarded a contract by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to bring its remote handling expertise to assist in the decommissioning work at the Fukushima Daiichi NPS site. The UK company’s achievement in being awarded this work was due to the superiority of its technology and experience in the field of Nuclear Decommissioning – proving once again that UK companies can and do succeed in specialized, highly competitive international markets.
This particular success can be seen as an indicator of the strong and increasing links between the UK and Japan in the nuclear decommissioning arena, from the highest level – with meetings between Prime Ministers – through the participation of trade bodies such as UKTI (Japan) and agencies including INSJ, to cooperation “on the ground”, with working relationships and information exchange between NDA and NDF and Sellafield and TEPCO.
Although some of these lines of communication have existed for many years, almost since the dawn of the nuclear industry, the scale of the task at Fukushima has led to even greater international collaboration between the two countries.
Since 2011, the UK and Japanese Governments have been actively working to promote cooperation in the sector and official dialogues are held in both Tokyo and London annually.
Supporting these government-level activities, UKTI (Japan) has been working tirelessly to help UK companies enter the Japanese market, providing a market information service. Their extensive network ensured the events they organised, several of which were attended by OTL, had the right people there to allow relationships to develop.
The relationship between MHI and Oxford Technologies has developed quickly to one of true collaboration and both companies are already building on the initial contracts and exploring other aspects of this incredibly challenging but important decommissioning project.
Mark Sharpe, New Business Manager, Oxford Technologies, explains; “UKTI Japan, NDA and INS have all been incredibly helpful in gaining market intelligence and helping OTL to navigate the Japanese market.”