Duncan Hawthorne to lead UK's Horizon Nuclear Power

04 March 2016

Horizon Nuclear Power, the wholly owned UK subsidiary of Japan's Hitachi, announced today the appointment of Duncan Hawthorne as chief executive officer effective 1 May. Horizon said Hawthorne joins "as the company continues to progress its lead Wylfa Newydd project, which will generate enough secure, reliable low carbon electricity to power five million homes."

Horizon 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. Hawthorne announced last month his plans to retire from his position of president and CEO of Canada’s Bruce Power.

Duncan Hawthorne - 250  (Horizon)
Duncan Hawthorne (Image: Horizon)

Tatsuro Ishizuka, deputy chairman of the board of Hitachi Europe and chief executive of Hitachi's nuclear power system business in Europe, said Hawthorne brings experience gained from many years in the UK nuclear Industry. This combined with the international operation, project development and commercial activities he has been involved in for the last 20 years makes him the "perfect choice for Horizon", he added.

Hawthorne, who has led Bruce Power since its formation in 2001, has held a wide range of leadership positions in Canada, the UK, and the USA. He served as chair of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) Atlanta Centre and until recently was president of WANO's governing board. His contribution to the Canadian energy sector was also recognised when he was awarded Energy Person of the Year by the Energy Council of Canada in 2005. In addition, he has been on Horizon's board of directors since 2013.

Hawthorne, who began his career as a craft apprentice in the Scottish electricity industry, said Horizon has "ambitious plans for the future" and that he hoped to be able to add his experience in plant operations and leadership "to help complement the many talented people who already are part of the Horizon workforce".

Formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power plants in the UK, Horizon was acquired by Hitachi in November 2012. The company is developing plans to build at least 5400 MWe of new nuclear power generation plant at the two sites. 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. This process for the UK ABWR is on schedule for completion by the end of 2017.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the UK's Nuclear Industry Association, said: "Horizon's commitment to new nuclear generation capacity in the UK is underlined by Duncan's appointment. His global experience in nuclear power will be a great asset as Horizon progresses with plans to build the ABWR at Wylfa Newydd. The NIA looks forward to working with Duncan in his new role, and wish him every success."

Katsumi Nagasawa, vice president and executive officer, and president & CEO of Power Systems Company of Hitachi, said: "The appointment of someone of Mr Hawthorne's calibre is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to succeed in this vital project."

In January, Hitachi 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's new nuclear power plant development at Wylfa Newydd. 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.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News