Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa Newydd Project Seminar: UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) Technology

10 June 2014

On 5 June, IOP Wales sponsored a presentation at Abergele (North Wales) on the Horizon Nuclear Power plans for investment in new nuclear power plants at Wylfa and Oldbury. The event was coordinated by the Engineering and Science Group of North Wales: a collaborative partnership between an number of engineering and science professional bodies. About 140 people were in the audience.

The presentation opened with an introduction by Mark Lunn, Engineering Director, Horizon Nuclear Power. He explained the organisation structure and the linkage between Hitachi and GE, which are the parent companies behind Horizon, and that the venture represented a £20 billion private venture investment.

Currently in the start up phase, once on-stream, students now at school would be the first employees. Horizon takes seriously the need to build skills and career expectations in the local workforce now. The expectation is that 60% of the project by value would pass through the UK economy. Potential supply-chain companies are encouraged to make contact.

The second part of the presentation was given by Kenichi Sato, Senior Licensing Manager, Hitachi-GE, who is on-site at Wylfa on a one year secondment.

Ken's talk focused more on the technology. He explained that the new plant is designed to be in-service for 60 years, and that similar technology already operational in Japan has show very high levels of reliability compared with other nuclear power station types. Furthermore multiple layers of safety protection have been designed in.

Following the presentation, there were very many questions from the audience.