Seabed investigations under way at Wylfa Newydd

06 July 2016

Detailed offshore ground investigation works are under way to gain a better understanding of the geological conditions offshore from the site of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant on the Isle of Anglesey, UK. Construction of the plant - featuring two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors - is expected to begin around 2019.

Wylfa off-shore platforms - 460 (Horizon)
Off-shore ground investigations off Angelsey (Image: Horizon)

Horizon Nuclear Power said it is working with subsea specialists Fugro Geoservices, and supported by Atkins' geotechnical team, to take core samples from the seabed and coastline over the next couple of months.

It said two barges, which are floating drilling platforms, will be positioned in the near-shore area of the sea at Porth-y-Pistyll, adjacent to the existing Wylfa Magnox plant. It is in this area that Horizon plans to construct a cooling water intake structure for the new plant, as well as a jetty and breakwater.

"This work is another key technical step in Wylfa Newydd's project development and will allow Horizon to reduce the volume of road haulage by bringing in many of the bulk materials and large components needed during construction via sea," the company said.

It said 33 boreholes will be drilled in the area and the barges will be moved between the borehole locations "as and when necessary". The team will also take on-shore samples at Porth-y-Pistyll, it noted.

Horizon said the work is similar to the on-shore ground investigations it has already completed. In March 2014, the company began detailed ground investigations at the Wylfa site. The program, which ran until the end of 2014, required the drilling of some 400 boreholes and trial pits across the site.

Horizon expects to have all the required licences and permissions in place for the Wylfa Newydd project by 2018. The start of commercial operation of the plant depends on the timing of a final investment decision and detailed construction program, but is expected in the first half of the 2020s.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News