A PRESTIGIOUS award has been handed to a company based in Oldbury Naite.

Representatives from Magnox Ltd visited Parliament on Thursday, November 27 to collect an Innovation Award at an exhibition led by baroness Neville-Rolfe, the parliamentary under secretary of state for business, innovation and skills.

The Innovation Award is from the Institute of Physics (IOP) for their unprecedented ‘Inter-reactor Transfer’ of low irradiation fuel at Anglesey’s Wylfa Nuclear Power Station.

The team’s work to continue the generation of power at Reactor 1 by using the low irradiation fuel remains in the shutdown Reactor 2 has led to three more years of low-carbon power generation, saved 157 jobs from redundancy, and earned the company more than £100 million.

Dr Frances Saunders, president of IOP, said, “With both the reactors due to shut down in 2012, Magnox’s physicists gave one of the reactors three more years of successful low-carbon power generation. Their physics innovation saved jobs and set an important precedent for the nuclear industry.”

Joe Lamonby, chief nuclear officer, Magnox, said, “Magnox are very proud to be named winner of the Innovation Award – receiving it from the Institute of Physics is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the ‘Inter-reactor Transfer’ project.

“This project was a first of a kind for the UK and has gone on to provide an extra £100 million of income for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and 2.6TWh of electricity for the UK.

“Driving innovation and challenging assumptions is key to delivering Magnox’s diverse work across the UK and being recognised for this by our peers is a tremendous achievement.”

Before presenting the awards to representatives of the four winning companies, the IOP’s president, Frances Saunders, referred to the challenges that they had to face in taking an idea from the lab and turning it into something that people would want to buy.

She said: “I think it is a tremendous achievement for these companies to have developed products that are innovative but also successful in terms of sales.”