EOn is preparing plans to build an Areva EPR at Oldbury in the UK. The German-based company has requested a 1600 MWe grid connection to be in place for April 2020.
|Could Oldbury B be an EPR in 2020?
EOn announced its support for EPR in April this year, saying it was the only reactor design it wanted to build in Britain. It signed a letter of intent with EPR builder Areva and conventional power constructor Siemens towards the construction of the units at around the same time. The company is also, however, among the supporters of Westinghouse's AP1000 and is sharing the costs of Generic Design Assessment it is undergoing with UK regulators. One more reactor is in the GDA process: GE-Hitachi's ESBWR.
Yesterday the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority announced that it would sell portions of land suitable for new nuclear power plants at three of its sites: Oldbury as well as Bradwell and Wylfa. Today it has emerged that EOn had applied for - and has now signed - a connection agreement with National Grid for a 1600 MWe generating unit at Oldbury. It would be connected via the Oldbury-on-Severn 400 kV substation and should be in place from April 2020, around 18 months after it is hoped the first new reactor in the UK could start up.
Neither company publicly announced the plan but the information on EOn's move was available via the National Grid website, which contains a spreadsheet of its connection agreements. Rebecca Mara of EOn told World Nuclear News that such connection agreements are part of the process for the development of any power station, and that a connection agreement had been signed did not signal anything about EOn's ultimate intentions. She said that there are a number of sites EOn is considering for new nuclear build, but the ultimate choice would depend on which sites the UK government recommends in its strategic siting assessment.
In November last year, British Energy made similar agreements with National Grid to prepare Sizewell, Hinkley Point, Dungeness and Bradwell for potential new nuclear build from 2016 onwards.