Hitachi is buying Horizon Nuclear Power from RWE and Eon paving the way for construction of nine new nuclear power plants in the UK. The transaction is expected to be complete at the end of November.
Two British companies, Babcock International and Rolls-Royce have signed memorandums of understanding outlining their intention to help Hitachi plan and deliver the programme. Hitachi will cooperate with other nuclear energy related companies around the world.
Hitachi president Hiroaki Nakanishi said: “Today starts our 100 year commitment to the UK and its vision to achieve a long-term, secure, low-carbon, and affordable energy supply. We look forward to sharing Hitachi’s corporate vision and nuclear business policy with the management and employees of Horizon.”
Following completion of the transaction, Hitachi said it will immediately work towards achieving licence acceptance under the Generic Design Assessment process as governed by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and begin working with UK partners on the future programme.
Hitachi construction programme
The Hitachi Horizon programme involves building two to three 1,300 MW plants at each of Horizon’s sites at Wylfa, Anglesey, and Oldbury, Gloucestershire, with the first unit becoming operational in the first half of 2020s. Hitachi endorses the UK government’s policy for promoting low-carbon society and will employ its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology, which has already been licensed in other countries. Currently, there are four ABWRs in operation in Japan, built to time and budget.
Hitachi anticipates the creation of between 5,000 and 6,000 direct jobs at each site during the construction phase and a further 1,000 permanent jobs per site upon start of the operation of each site.
Preliminary estimates indicate approximately 60% by value of the first unit will be spent on locally sourced materials, personnel and services, with this rising for future units. Hitachi will invest in transferring its modular construction technology which underpins the build timetable establishing a module assembly facility in the UK.
Hitachi will make a significant investment in training engineers, construction teams and operating staff for the plants, and will work with its partners and with local colleges and universities to develop training programmes, which will create a strong and permanent base of nuclear skills in the UK that also have a global demand.
In partnership with the UK government, the devolved administration in Wales and local authorities in the Wylfa and Oldbury areas Hitachi will work towards ensuring that economic benefits flow to the local communities in which the plants will be located.