Japan Atomic Power Company to assist UK new build project

07 July 2016

Horizon Nuclear Power, the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) and Hitachi have signed a technical services contract for the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant in North Wales. JAPC is to support Horizon in areas including construction costing, licensing, and planning for commissioning.

JAPC-Horizon July 2016 - 460 (Horizon)
Muramatsu, Hawthorne and Nagasawa after the signing of the contract (Image: Horizon)

Horizon plans to deploy the UK ABWR (Advanced Boiling Water Reactor) at two sites - Wylfa Newydd, which is on the Isle of Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn, in South Gloucestershire. It will be the first BWR in the UK, which currently only has pressurized water reactors and advanced gas-cooled reactors in operation.

"A pioneer of nuclear power generation, JAPC will work with Horizon as it grows its own operational capability in readiness to run Wylfa Newydd," Horizon said today. "Under the deal, Horizon will draw on JAPC's experience and know-how gained from many years of involvement with boiling water reactors," it added.

Horizon announced last month the formation of consortium Menter Newydd to prepare for the construction phase of the new plant. Menter Newydd comprises Bechtel, JGC and Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe.

Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne said JAPC has "highly professional people who've had direct access to BWR technology" and that the cooperation agreement is "another strong sign of the progress we're making".

JAPC president Mamoru Muramatsu said the company's Tokai nuclear power plant - which was Japan's first commercial nuclear power plant - was "introduced from the UK". Taking advantage of many years of operating experience, beginning with the Tokai plant, and including Tokai 2 (a BWR) and Tsuruga 1 and 2 (a BWR and PWR, espectively), JAPC will "help to ensure that Wylfa Newydd is built successfully".

Katsumi Nagasawa, CEO of nuclear power at Hitachi Ltd, added that Hitachi will play an important role in helping the UK achieve its objective of using "safe and realiable sources of electric power to achieve a low-carbon society by supplying the latest ABWR design, which has already been proven in operation".

JAPC’s overseas operations include providing technical assistance and training in Vietnam and Kazakstan, which are planning to build nuclear power plants.

Horizon also said today that it is in "active discussions" with a range of other companies for further operational support and advice, such as training its own workforce.

The UK ABWR began the Generic Design Acceptance process in January 2014 and Horizon and the regulators have said it remains on target for completion at the end of 2017.

In an interview with World Nuclear News last month, Hawthorne said Horizon's conversations with government are "lively, frequent and engaged", and that "there is a range of financing options and we're going to look at all of them, with the intention of offering a competitive project". The debt-equity structure and cost of capital are a "direct function" of the contract-for-difference element to a nuclear new build project in the UK, he added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News