French engineering services company Assystem is working with EDF to prepare for construction of the UK’s Hinkley Point C NPP, Christian Jeanneau, the company’s senior vice-president, told NucNet. “We are supporting EDF in the design phase and we expect to continue this until the construction management and commissioning phases”, he said. “We are using the experience and lessons we have learnt on the Flamanville-3 EPR in France.”
He added that Assystem has experience with the French nuclear fleet and has also had a presence in the UK for about 40 years. “It is important for us to be seen as a local company, employing local people and bringing extensive PWR expertise to the UK.” He explained that the specific challenges with Hinkley Point C will come from the need to adapt the project to local regulations and requirements in the UK.
Asked about the delays at the Flamanville and Olkiluoto EPR projects, Jeanneau said: “A huge and complex project will often face problems along its lifecycle, but there are reasons to be confident that Hinkley Point C will be delivered on time and within the original budget.”
He also suggested that cost savings may be possible through the use of 3D modelling and product lifecycle management (PLM) tools,, which has been instrumental in bringing savings to projects in the aerospace industry. “Some of this experience with digital tools acquired in other sectors could help nuclear projects. Of course, I can’t say at this stage that we can guarantee 30% savings for Hinkley Point C, but this has been feasible in other sectors.”