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UK new nuclear developers gather in Tokyo

19 января 2017
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Horizon Nuclear Power — the UK subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi — and NuGeneration — the UK joint venture between Japan’s Toshiba and France’s Engie — have joined government officials, trade associations, and wider stakeholders during a trade mission to Tokyo this week.

Horizon said yesterday that supply chain companies had met during the UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum to discuss how they can work in partnership to deliver the Wylfa Newydd nuclear new build project. At the two-day event, held at the British Embassy in the Japanese capital, participants heard about progress made on this “transformative project” and discussed ways to build on the long history of civil nuclear cooperation between the countries, Horizon said.

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.

At the event in Japan, executives from Horizon and Hitachi-GE set out how there were already partnerships in place between companies working on the development of Wylfa Newydd and outlined the multiple opportunities that the project will present in the coming years, Horizon said. Officials from the UK and Welsh governments also spoke on the importance of the nuclear sector in the UK and showcased the support available for Japanese companies in both countries, it added.

Horizon and its lead contractor, Menter Newydd — a joint venture of Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel, and JGC — are working to support partners in Japan, Wales, and the UK as they “explore potential collaborations and begin building enduring relationships”, Horizon said. Over the past year the project has raised awareness in Japan of Welsh and British capabilities, and in the UK of Japanese manufacturing, it said.

Carl Devlin, programme director at Horizon said: “We want to see these partnerships grow still further as we move forward, with the project representing the next phase in the countries’ decades’ long history of close cooperation on nuclear power”.

Shunsuke Utena, managing director of Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe and executive management board member of Menter Newydd, said increasing collaboration between suppliers will bring huge opportunities across the industries in all three countries. “Companies can pool their expertise to complement one another, strengthening their offering to Wylfa Newydd, to their benefit and to ours. There are already positive signs of flourishing partnerships and we’re working with suppliers to encourage further progress”, he said.

The event was attended by officials from the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Department for International Trade, and the Wales Office; the Welsh government’s Department for Economy, Skills & Natural Resources; the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) and the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum; and the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation.

In a statement today, NuGen CEO Tom Samson welcomed the opportunity for nuclear new build and decommissioning companies from the two countries to meet and explore opportunities for working together.

“Both countries are at the leading edge of the nuclear industry, have a wealth of experience and have a great deal to offer each other in helping progress projects such as Moorside”, he said.

NuGen plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at Moorside, which is set to become the engine of the ’Northern Powerhouse’ — providing 3.8 GWe of electricity from a sustainable source, NuGen said, referring to government plans to boost economic growth in the North of England.

The company noted that West Cumbria already has strong links with the Japanese nuclear industry in the research and decommissioning sector. With more 70 years of experience of the industry and more than one-third of the UK’s civil nuclear sector based in the region close to Moorside, the region is rightly known as the UK’s Centre of Nuclear Excellence, NuGen added.

The NIA said on 16 January that 100 companies were “joining forces in a UK-Japan industry partnership” at the event this week, to build ties between organisations with expertise in the nuclear industry to maximise the economic potential in both countries.

The forum builds on the Memorandum of Cooperation between the two countries signed in December by UK Energy Secretary Greg Clark and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko.

Tom Greatrex, NIA chief executive, said: “Both Japan and the UK have a wealth of experience in the civil nuclear sector and their supply chains have the experience and skills to complement the programs of work ongoing in each country”.

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