Horizon picks its first nuclear site

30 March 2010

The Wylfa site has been proposed as the first for new build by Horizon Nuclear Power, while the choice of reactor design is still being made.


Wylfa (NDA)
Horizon owns land surrounding these
Magnox reactors at the existing Wylfa
nuclear power plant (Image: NDA)

Horizon announced today that it would like to have its first reactor at Wylfa commissioned as early as 2020, with a planning application put in during 2012.


A second reactor could follow at Oldbury "once construction at Wylfa is underway." However, these developments remain subject to "the right market conditions," the company warned in a possible reference to industry-wide calls for more certainty on carbon pricing. Ultimately Horizon wants up to 6600 MWe in nuclear generation capacity across both sites.


Nuclear Industry Association spokesman John McNamara said: "It is clear to see that the industrial landscape for UK nuclear is growing stronger by the day. We now have two major utilities – both Horizon Nuclear Power and EDF Energy - who have outlined their build plans and prioritised sites and target dates to bring their first reactors online."


The schedule for Wylfa could make a new reactor there the second or third of the UK's new-build program. EDF Energy wants its first Areva EPR unit operating for the end of 2017 with subsequent units to follow at 18 or 24 month intervals.


However, Horizon is yet to decide which of the two available reactor designs it would like to build. Both the Areva EPR and Westinghouse AP1000 are engaged in the Generic Design Assessment process, due to certify them for build in June 2011. Both the companies are involved in a competitive bidding process which Horizon said would conclude at the end of the year. Horizon chief Alan Raymant said: "This approach will allow us to incorporate the best quality information in our selection and also fit with our timeframe for delivery."


Wylfa is on a northern peninsula on the Welsh island of Anglesey, separated from the British mainland by the narrow Menai Strait and with road access restricted to only two bridges. Horizon has been exploring options for transporting heavy loads on the island and has pledged to residents of the village of Llanfachraeth to carry out any road improvements required to enable safe transport of large nuclear components. This work is in parallel to the full local consultations and planning studies being carried out prior to the planning application.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News