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French nuclear heavyweight to spearhead Wylfa construction

Eric chassard cropped

Hitachi has bagged former Areva nuclear executive Eric Chassard to lead initial pre-construction work for the 2.7GW Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant in Anglesey, Wales.

Chassard will lead the team at Menter Newydd, the joint venture between Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel and JGC which is taking charge of procurement, engineering and construction for the Wylfa Newydd plant.

He will help develop a costed construction schedule for construction of the plant, which developer Horizon Nuclear Power (HNP) hopes will produce first electricity from 2025.

Chassard joins the project from French nuclear energy firm Areva, where he was a vice president and chairman responsible for engineering and safety.

“Phenomenal work is being done to add depth and clarity to the plans we are developing for Horizon – which will provide a stable, long-term footing as we move ever closer toward construction of Wylfa Newydd,” said Chassard.

“Leading a team of this calibre, on a project of this importance, is a great opportunity - as we work to secure the energy supplies and industrial futures of Wales and the wider UK.”

Wylfa developer HNP received a boost last month when plans for its Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe’s advanced-boiling water reactor (ABWR) type reactor were approved.

HNP expects to submit a development consent order (DCO) application this year. If approved, construction could start in 2020.

French nuclear giant Areva is providing the reactor for EDF’s Flamanville nuclear plant in France, which has seen rocketing costs and lengthy construction delays. Areva is also working on Hinkley Point C, and its work includes delivery of the two nuclear steam supply systems, from design and supply to commissioning.

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