Is the Nuclear Industry Ready for 3D Printing?

Additive manufacturing or more popularly known as 3D printing is starting to gain traction in a number of industries. But is the highly-regulated nuclear industry ready for this type of advanced manufacturing technique? Some think so like Sellafield LTD  who’s in charge of decommissioning the UK’s Windscale and Calder Hall nuclear reactors. They are using 3D printing to build parts critical to the cleanup efforts. Additive manufacturing is a good way to make complicated parts with high strength and quality, but they take time. How much would a nuclear plant pay for an outdated part that is no longer available from the vendor but critical to keep the plant online? No one really knows, but additive manufacturing may play a key role in the supply chain of aging nuclear power plants and even small modular nuclear reactors.