Plans for a major new nuclear power station in Wales have taken a crucial step forward as UK regulators approved the project. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and two other government bodies gave the green light on Thursday for the Japanese reactor design for Horizon Nuclear Power’s plant at Wylfa, marking the end of a five-year regulatory process. Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon’s chief executive, said: “This is a huge milestone for Horizon and a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK.” Attention will now turn to financing the Hitachi-backed project on the island of Anglesey, which was the site of Britain’s oldest nuclear plant until it closed two years ago. During a visit by UK ministers to Japan last December, it emerged that London and Tokyo were considering public financing for Wylfa. This would be a significant break with the UK government’s previous approach. Hitachi has already spent £2bn on development. Last week the consortium said it needed a financial support package by mid-2018 or it could stop funding development. Mark Foy, chief nuclear inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, sa id: “The completion of the generic design assessment of the UK ABWR is a significant step in our regulation of the overall process to construct this type of reactor in the UK, ensuring that the generic design meets the highest standards of safety that we expect in this country.”

Guardian 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Hitachi’s Horizon Nuclear Power unit expects to see an outline from Britain’s government in the first half of next year on how it will help finance a nuclear project in Wales, the company said on Thursday. Britain is seeking new ways to fund nuclear projects after criticism over a deal awarded to France’s EDF to build the first nuclear plant in Britain for 20 years, which could cost consumers 30 billion pounds ($40 billion).

Reuters 14th Dec 2017 read more »

GDA of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor: final assessment reports. The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales have published 11 updated assessment reports and an independent dose assessment alongside their decision document. In reaching their decision, they have identified 17 assessment findings. They expect future operators to address the findings during the detailed design, procurement, construction or commissioning phase of any new build project. There are no unresolved generic design assessment (GDA) issues.

Environment Agency 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Office for Nuclear Regulation gives Hitachi the green light for its reactor designs, marking a “major leap” forward for planned nuclear plants on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn. Plans to develop a major new nuclear power station on Anglesey took a major step forward yesterday with the news that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has approved the designs for the new reactors. Hitachi-backed consortium Horizon Nuclear Power hopes to build and operate two of the new reactors, designed by Hitachi, at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. The ONR said it was satisfied that Hitachi’s designs for an Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) meets regulatory expectations for safety, security and environmental protections. The decision marks the end of a five-year regulatory process.

Business Green 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Plans for two new nuclear power stations have taken a “major leap forward” after a reactor design was approved by regulators. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) gave the green light for an advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) designed by Hitachi planned for Horizon Nuclear Power’s plants at Wylfa on Anglesey and in Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.

Belfast Telegraph 14th Dec 2017 read more »

World Nuclear News 14th Dec 2017 read more »

BBC 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Wylfa Newydd’s nuclear reactors have received the green light from regulators. The UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), designed by Hitachi-GE is suitable for construction in the UK, the regulators confirmed following completion of an in-depth assessment of the nuclear reactor design.

Daily Post 14th Dec 2017 read more »

The developers behind Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant in have put forward proposals to clear around 121 hectares at the Welsh site, despite not yet having planning permission for the plant. It comes as the Office for Nuclear Regulation approved Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe’s advanced-boiling water reactor (ABWR) design. Developer Horizon Nuclear Power (HNP) can now use the reactor at Wylfa Newydd. HNP has submitted plans to Anglesey County Council to carry out site clearance work, such as demolishing existing buildings and vegetation, in preparation for the two-reactor, 2,700MW power plant. HNP believes doing the work now would reduce construction time for Wylfa by about 18 months. If permission is granted by Anglesey County Council, work is expected to start early next year and take around 15 months to complete. A spokesperson for HNP said: ”By doing this work now – before we receive the final planning permission for Wylfa Newydd – we’re able to reduce overall construction time by around 18 months, while also limiting the environmental impacts which would occur if the clearance works took place at the same time as other construction activities.”

New Civil Engineer 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017


PROTESTORS used a cold turkey to poke fun at EDF after it allegedly claimed Hinkley C power would be cooking Christmas dinners this year. Stop Hinkley members claim they have been stuffed and turned up at the site to remind the energy giant of its claim in 2007.

Bridgwater Mercury 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Glastonbury will see a 150 per cent increase in HGV traffic from the New Year if a request from EDF is approved. This is despite the campaign to lower the number of lorries and coaches coming through town on the A361 and A39. Currently, there is a daily cap of 500 HGVs allowed between Monday and Saturday.

Somerset Live 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017


A leading campaign group against a new nuclear site have been left furious after their comments were not included in a report ahead of a planning meeting this evening. Work to start building a new nuclear power station in Bradwell is set to take a giant leap forward. For years a second plant has been discussed but tonight permission is sought to begin work on the new site. The application is for permission to do groundwork, the first piece in the jigsaw of a new plant actually being built. However just two days before the meeting campaign groups claimed their objections to the project are being ignored and have been deliberately left off the information being presented to councillors who will make the decision. If approved work will begin to make sure the ground is suitable for a new plant. The application has been recommended for approval by Maldon District Council’s planning department. The work will include digging sampling holes and carry out soil testing.

Maldon Gazette 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Maldon & Burnham Standard 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

New Nuclear Sites

The UK Government has launched a consultation on the process and criteria for designating potentially suitable sites for new nuclear post 2025. They would include new nuclear power stations with more than 1GW of single reactor electricity generating capacity for deployment between 2026 and 2035. The government’s current nuclear power National Policy Statements (NPS) lists eight sites as potentially suitable for new nuclear plants by the end of 2025 – Hinkley Point C, Wylfa, Sellafield, Sizewell, Bradwell, Oldbury, Hartlepool and Heysham. It is seeking views on potential new sites from industry, local authorities, regulators and non-departmental public bodies, NGOs and local residents as well as a new NPS.

Energy Live News 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017


CGN Power Co said on Tuesday it has replaced a component at the under-construction Taishan nuclear plant after finding the cracked part during tests of a deaerator. The company is a subsidiary of state-owned nuclear giant China General Nuclear Power Corp (IPO-CGNP.HK). The company’s statement came after media reports that the company had spotted flaws in the deaerator before tests. The deaerator, which removes dissolved oxygen by heating water, was built by Harbin Electric.

Reuters 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017


A French-designed nuclear reactor ordered by Britain is facing further scrutiny after the disclosure that defects were detected in one of the same models under construction in China. The revelation adds to the string of setbacks that have hit the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) designed by Areva, the French nuclear group. Britain has ordered two of those reactors for Hinkley Point C. They are being built by EDF, the French state energy giant, and China General Nuclear Power Corporation at a cost of £19.5 billion. China General Nuclear Power Corporation, which is building two reactors in a joint venture with EDF near Macau in southern China, said it had found “local defects” in the Taishan 1 reactor. It said that welding in the deaerator, which is used to remove oxygen from water circuits, was defective. The parts had been replaced, it said. Taishan 1 is due to come on stream this month to become the world’s first functioning example of the European reactor. The second Chinese reactor, Taishan 2, is due to come online next year. The $8.7 billion project was initially due to be completed last year, but was delayed by safety concerns. The problems in China pale by comparison with those affecting other projects. Work on a similar reactor at Olkiluoto in Finland began in 2005 and was supposed to finish in 2009. It is now expected to be in action from 2019. EDF is also building a reactor at Flamanville in Normandy which was due to begin operating in 2012, but won’t be working until the end of next year. The reactors at Hinkley Point were originally due to be operational in 2025 but EDF said this summer that they were likely to be 15 months late.

Times 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Daily Mail 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Welding defects in deaerator at Taishan nuclear plant known to manufacturer in production stage, documents show. Documents show that defects with a deaerator in the generating unit 1 of Taishan nuclear power plant were known as early as 2012, following FactWire’s revelation on Tuesday that the key component cracked during performance tests. Harbin Boiler, the manufacturer, apparently has faced technical challenges since the early stages of production, causing oversized gaps between parts of the deaerator which made it necessary to remold their shapes on site before assembly, according to a technical report written by an engineer at the manufacturer. FactWire also found previous incidents involving deaerators at Daya Bay and Ling Ao nuclear power plants, both of which sit about 50km from Hong Kong. Changes in water levels inside the deaerators affected the cooling capacity of the nuclear reactor cores.

Factwire 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Hong Kong Free Press 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 December 2017


Ten years ago, Vincent de Rivaz, the former chief executive of EDF Energy, promised that people in Somerset would be able to cook their Christmas dinner this year using electricity generated by his company’s Hinkley Point C power station. They now reckon it will open in 2027. Having taken him at his word, a group of local protesters intend to show up at the construction site today with a raw turkey and ask EDF what they should do with it. I suspect they will be told to stuff it. Projects like this often run way over schedule. Friends of the Earth once threw a birthday party for the Dungeness B reactor on the tenth anniversary of its estimated completion. They put a single candle in it, which at the time produced more energy than the power station.

Times 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 December 2017

New Nuclear

The government is being put under increasing pressure to find new sites for nuclear power stations and help quicken the approval of reactors after a new report has called for an end to delays in decisions. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) report, Nuclear Power: A Future Pathway for the UK, follows government announcements last week on its support for the next generation of nuclear technologies. It believes an independent review of the Generic Design Assessment process is needed, which is a necessary step for the approval of any reactor in the UK. The report states how the review should ensure that costs are not unnecessarily added and to enable the faster approval of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).Other critical points of the report include a need for experienced workers from oversees to enter the UK to address the shortage of nuclear construction skills and running a new Strategic Siting Assessment to identify further nuclear sites beyond Hinkley Point C’s potential completion in 2025, including locations for SMRs. The Nuclear Pathway set out in IMechE’s report is said to be achieved by a commitment to replacing old nuclear with new nuclear by 2030, and having a fleet of affordable SMRs by 2040.

Ace 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Professional Engineering 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Gareth Redmond-King, head of Energy and Climate at WWF commented on the announcement by the UK Government of £56 million of funding for new advanced and small modular reactors – “mini nuclear power stations” “At a time when the cost of large-scale nuclear is increasing, and the cost of renewables is plummeting, it is bewildering that the UK Government should be committing yet more money to new nuclear – only a matter of weeks after a freeze on renewables funding was announced. “Small-scale nuclear is untried, untested technology which will deliver nothing for over two decades. Meanwhile, the next wave of offshore wind – not to mention onshore wind and solar – could deliver when we actually need them, during the 2020s.”

WWF 7th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 December 2017


A component of Taishan nuclear power plant – which sits 130km west of Hong Kong – cracked during performance tests amid safety concerns about further delays, FactWire has learnt from multiple reliable sources. State-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) entered a joint venture with French utility Électricité de France (EDF) and began building the plant in 2009, but its completion has been repeatedly delayed. CGN Power, a Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of CGN, has previously said in an operational briefing document and the 2017 interim report that Taishan Unit 1 had entered the stage of hot functional testing and would be ready for commercial operation by the end of 2017. However, a “boiler” in Unit 1 appeared to have cracked during functional testing and must be replaced, according to a nuclear plant employee. He also told FactWire undercover reporters when they visited the site last month that representatives from Harbin Electric, the Chinese manufacturer of the “boiler,” came to the plant for a week in late October to discuss with the plant operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture, a plan to replace the faulty part. In 2008, a consortium of Dongfang Electric and French manufacturer Alstom won a contract to supply several components for Taishan Unit 1. The consortium then subcontracted the manufacturing of the deaerator to Harbin Boiler, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Harbin Electric. General Electric acquired Alstom’s power and grid businesses in 2015. Last week, a Dongfang Electric engineer also confirmed to FactWire that the deaerator was supplied by Harbin Electric and the welding on the deaerator was “problematic.”

Hong Kong Free Press 12th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017


Plans to increase HGV deliveries to Hinkley Point C to 750 lorries per day are being considered by councillors. French energy firm EDF wants to raise the limit on daily deliveries to the nuclear reactor by 250 a day until 2019, while a sea jetty is being built. The proposal, which includes a £4m “mitigation” pot, is being considered by local councils later this month. But councillor Brian Smedley said unless Bridgwater Town Council was consulted residents would be “hostile”. Currently the maximum daily limit of HGV deliveries to the Somerset nuclear plant is 500 per day. EDF wants to increase that average limit until the end of September 2019 when a jetty will be built, allowing 80 per cent of building materials to be brought in by sea.

BBC 12th Dec 2017 read more »

Construction of Hinkley Point C could face “severe” delays due to skills shortages and import issues after the UK leaves European nuclear body Euratom as part of the Brexit process, MPs have warned. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said leaving Euratom in March 2019 could lead to delays at the Somerset nuclear new build project, which counts one tenth of its 2,500-strong workforce as non-UK nationals.

New Civil Engineer 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017