The National Nuclear Laboratory has created a new partnership to a develop and test new and emerging technologies in nuclear facilities across the UK.

The NLL – which has its Central Laboratory facility at the Sellafield site and a rig hall facility in Workington – has awarded a four-year contract to Hull-based engineering business Spencer Group.

Spencer Group will design, build and maintain experimental rigs to test the technologies before, if successful, they are deployed at nuclear sites, which could include Sellafield.

The work will include a range of complex engineering challenges, such as the design and construction of processing plants, pressure vessels, mechanical handling equipment and specialist machinery.

The group hopes the contract will further enhance its reputation in the nuclear sector. It has already been involved in removing nuclear waste at the former Chapelcross power station in Dumfries and Galloway and has secured work at Hinkley Point A site in Somerset.

And it has established links in Cumbria, with its business developer, Charlotte Penn, a member of the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster’s Shadow Board of young professionals working within the nuclear sector.

Spencer Group’s nuclear lead Rob Marshall, said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with NNL and to demonstrate our expertise and proven experience within the nuclear industry, which is one of the most challenging sectors for any business to work in.”

Its engineering director, Mick Renshaw, added: “We’re working with a client that is looking beyond the established supply chain, so we’ll be offering a fresh perspective and evolving alongside NNL throughout the framework.”

The NNL - which is a Government body - works with clients across the industry to support the operation of nuclear plants, advise on waste management and conduct nuclear research.