The privately-held US nuclear consultancy Nuclear Safety Associates based in Charlotte, North Carolina has been acquired by UK engineering group Atkins.

The 130-employee company, which specializes in US Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission work, was established in 2001 and has seven locations in the USA.

The deal was first announced in May and was subject to regulatory approval, according to NSA. NSA said that a partnership was first formed with Atkins in October 2012 enabled both parties to "clearly identify that we have great alignment on culture, core values and goals."

Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ chief executive officer, commented: "This acquisition is another step towards our strategy to be one of the world’s leading energy consultancies. NSA will enhance our presence in North America, the world’s largest nuclear market, and its safety and security skills will strengthen our international nuclear offering."

In September, it said that the acquisition is an exciting step "in realizing our vision of becoming a dominant force in both the commercial and federal US nuclear industries. The combined capabilities provide a comprehensive range of architect-engineer and owner-engineer services offering a unique combination of traditional engineering and design skills with niche specialist nuclear analytical and safety skills."

Chris Ball, Atkins’ managing director for the nuclear business in Energy said: "Atkins’ nuclear business is also supporting countries that are building nuclear for the first time, and those countries are establishing US-style regulatory regimes.  NSA’s expertise in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulatory environment will be of great value in delivering these projects."

Terms of the deal were not announced.

In May, NSA hired Elizabeth Saris as vice president of operations and strategic development. Saris will be responsible for instituting NSA’s aggressive plan to double its revenues during the next three years and opening the company’s Washington, D.C. office. She joins NSA from Leidos (formerly Science Applications International Corp.) where as senior vice president she led the company’s $300 million federal and commercial programmes, nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, and civil infrastructure business.