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Reactor assessment progresses with public engagement


January 6, 2014 – Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd. (Hitachi-GE) today welcomed the decision of the UK nuclear regulators to move to the next stage of assessment of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR).

The company has also begun a major phase of public and stakeholder engagement, launching a new UK website dedicated to explaining the reactor technology and inviting comments on the design. This process is a central aspect of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA), with all comments responded to, and both questions and answers shared directly with the regulators.

The GDA process is not confined to any specific development, however the UK ABWR is currently proposed for use by Horizon Nuclear Power at two sites: Wylfa Newydd on the Isle of Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.

General Manager, Licensing, Hitachi Europe Ltd. for Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Mr Ken Sato said: “This is a major step forward in making the UK ABWR available for new build projects in this country, which in turn will create thousands of jobs whilst supplying enough secure, sustainable and affordable energy to power many millions of British homes and businesses”.

He went on to say: “Since we signed assessment agreements with the regulators last April we have made excellent progress. We’re delighted to be moving ahead to the next phase of the assessment”.

“Our website provides summaries of design features and presents a clear overview of the reactor. The ABWR is the most modern nuclear reactor design currently in commercial operation anywhere in the world. Four have already been built and a further three are under construction. Going forward, we believe the UK ABWR can be at the heart of safe, secure, low carbon power generation in Britain for years to come”.

Chief Operating Officer of Horizon Nuclear Power, Mr Alan Raymant said: “The GDA is critical to the success of our projects. We’re very pleased to see Hitachi-GE and the regulators moving onto the second stage which marks another important milestone for new nuclear build at Wylfa and Oldbury. This also represents a significant step up in dialogue and information about our reactor design. Later this year we’ll follow this by setting out our plans for our first site Wylfa Newydd, for public consultation”.

Notes to editors:

  • Hitachi-GE’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) has been built at three sites already (four units), and is licensed in three countries around the world. In spring 2013 Hitachi-GE signed assessment agreements with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency, beginning the process of ‘Generic Design Assessment’.
  • The website - www.hitachi-hgne-uk-abwr.co.uk - has been launched alongside the move to step 2 of the GDA process. The website gives an overview of the reactor design and outlines some of its key features.
  • The site gives the opportunity for submission of comments or questions on the design of the reactor, or on the submissions which Hitachi-GE has made to the regulators. This process is not designed to discuss Government policy around nuclear energy and does not overlap with the planning consents for Horizon’s proposed developments.
  • Both Hitachi-GE and the nuclear regulators are committed to the highest possible levels of transparency and public engagement, and notification of the website launch has been sent to elected representatives, councils, officials, community groups and NGOs across the UK.
  • The GDA process is led by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales (NRW). The regulators’ joint assessment website can be viewed at www.hse.gov.uk/newreactors.

About Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.

Hitachi-GE, a joint venture established by Hitachi, Ltd. and General Electric Company in July 2007, as one of the world’s leading comprehensive plant manufacturers, engages in the development, planning, design, manufacture, inspection, installation, pre-operation, and maintenance of nuclear reactor-related equipment and is able to execute integrated project management. Hitachi-GE has been involved with 23 reactors in Japan to date, including those currently under construction. Among them, it has participated in all of Japan’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) projects—four ABWRs are already operational and three are under construction. Overseas, it has supplied major nuclear reactor equipment for the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan.

About Horizon Nuclear Power

Horizon Nuclear Power was formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK. It was acquired by Hitachi Ltd of Japan in November 2012. The company is developing plans to build at least 5,400MW of new nuclear power generation plant at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. It currently has around 130 staff headquartered in Gloucester, England. This number is expected to grow towards 400. Its power station sites will employ up to 1000 people each once operational and a peak workforce of up to 6000 is expected during construction. For more information about Horizon, please visit www.horizonnuclearpower.com.