Hitachi enhances UK presence ahead of ABWR deployment

19 January 2016

Hitachi today announced the incorporation of a new UK company - Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe - as part of its strategy to enhance its UK presence for the engineering, procurement and construction of Horizon Nuclear Power's new nuclear power plant development at Wylfa Newydd.

Horizon Nuclear Power, a 100% subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, plans to deploy the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) at two sites - Wylfa Newydd, which is on the Isle of Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn, in South Gloucestershire.

Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe will lead Tokyo-headquartered Hitachi's work in a proposed joint venture with potential partners Bechtel Management Company and JGC Corporation.

Speaking at UK Trade & Investment's (UKTI's) annual nuclear showcase, Hitachi Europe's Shunsuke Utena described formation of Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe as "a key pillar of our increasing UK capability". UKTI is a UK government department.

Utena said that progress with potential partners include a memorandum of understand "showing clear intent amongst the parties". He added: "Whilst the details of our agreement remain to be finalised, I am absolutely delighted that we are close to bringing together a team of such proven capability. Bechtel and JGC are world-leading in their fields, and together we are primed to help make this project a real success."

Meanwhile, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy - which has held a front-end engineering and design contract with Horizon Nuclear Power for three years - will continue to provide the UK ABWR nuclear plant design, and will operate under contract to the joint venture team, once fully established.

Horizon Nuclear Power is working to achieve the necessary permissions, consents and commercial arrangements in order to begin construction of the plant in 2019 with first commercial operation in the first half of the 2020s. Two UK ABWRs will be developed on the Wylfa Newydd site, generating around 2.7GWe of energy between them.

Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy in November last year reached a regulatory milestone in its progress towards deployment of the UK ABWR, following confirmation that British regulators will move to the final step of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA). The GDA process for the UK ABWR is on schedule for completion by the end of 2017.

GDA is the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency's process for assessing new nuclear power plant designs proposed for construction in the UK. Completion of GDA alone does not enable a reactor design to be constructed on a site within Great Britain, but must be viewed along with nuclear site licensing and eventual regulation of the construction phase.

JGC Corporation, formerly Japan Gasoline Co, is a global engineering company headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. Bechtel Corporation is a US construction and civil engineering company with its headquarters in the South of Market, San Francisco.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News