Plans for new nuclear reactors

The head of EDF Energy said that, although significant progress has been made, it is too early to say when construction of its new UK reactors is likely to start. Meanwhile, Horizon has completed the purchase of land next to the existing Wylfa plant.

EDF Energy, which owns and operates eight of the UK’s nuclear power plants, plans to build four EPR nuclear power units at two new twin-unit power plants, Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C. The first to be built will be Hinkley Point C, which EDF Energy originally said it wanted to begin operating by the end of 2017. The two EPRs at Hinkley Point C will have a total capacity of 3300 MWe – far in excess of the 1320 MWe of the two Hinkley Point B units still operating and the 500 MWe of the Hinkley Point A reactors that shut down in 2000. The first of the two Sizewell C units was expected to begin operating in 2019. Between them, the four new units would contribute 13% of UK electricity in the early 2020s, according to the government.

The other main contender for UK nuclear new build, Horizon Nuclear Power – a 50-50 joint venture between RWE nPower and EOn UK – has completed the purchase of land totalling some 438 acres (178 hectares) adjacent to the existing Wylfa plant.

The land was secured by Horizon in an auction process in 2009 and the transaction was subject to a number of conditions which have now been resolved. With the completion of the purchase, the land transfers into Horizon’s ownership from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and EDF Energy. Horizon did not disclose the purchase price for the land.

Courtesy of WNN