London-based YRM has been awarded a contract by EDF Energy to act as overall architect for the planned new Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, UK. The contract follows an earlier one for work on the new Hinkley Point C plant.
The initial contract is to prepare the masterplan and design to provide the architectural vision for the nuclear power plant and its associated buildings, together with the landscape design. YRM will act as lead architect for the pre-application consultation process and for the planning application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). This, YRM said, will involve extensive collaboration with EDF together with third party design and technical teams in the EU.
The contract follows a similar one from EDF in 2009 to act as the masterplanner and to prepare detailed designs for the turbine halls, public information centre, office and logistics centre the forthcoming reactors at the Hinkley Point plant in Somerset. The first stage of the pre-application public consultation process for Hinkley Point C was completed in January 2010 and preparatory work is in hand for the second stage consultation, YRM said.
EDF plans to build four EPR nuclear power units at two new twin-unit power plants, Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C. The first to be built will be Hinkley Point C, which EDF Energy says it wants to begin operating by the end of 2017. The two EPRs at Hinkley Point C will have a total capacity of 3300 MWe - far in excess of the 1320 MWe of the two Hinkley Point B units still operating and the 500 MWe of the Hinkley Point A reactors that shut down in 2000. The first of the two Sizewell C units is expected to begin operating in 2019. Between them, the four new units would contribute 13% of UK electricity in the early 2020s, according to the government.
In November 2009, YRM formed a joint venture with US firm TRO Jung Brannan to tackle the architectural challenges of design for new nuclear projects. However, YRM said that the contracts with EDF will be carried out outside of this collaboration, known as the Nuclear Design Partnership.
In the past, YRM has undertaken a number of nuclear projects covering decommissioning programs as well as the look of Sizewell B, the last new reactor built in the UK. That plant's visual success, according to John Clemow, CEO of YRM, is down to its good proportions and that it sits well in the landscape. Although the exact colour of its cladding makes no real cost difference, the contrast and colours were "well thought through decisions." Given the overall cost of nuclear build, the additional cost of design details such as these is very small.
"This significant appointment further strengthens our position in this sector of the market which first began when we were appointed as the overall concept architects for the second station at Sizewell, a project that was completed in 1994," said Clemow.
He added, "Now, with attitudes becoming redefined, the pendulum is swinging back in favour of nuclear power. We are clear that our growing relationship with EDF, together with the in-depth knowledge that we have in this highly specialised area, will play an important role in the strategic development of our business."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News