New nuclear on UK horizon

6 November 2009

RWE npower and E.ON UK have revealed their nuclear joint-venture company – to be called Horizon Nuclear Power – will begin operation this month. The firms also said they expect to make a choice on reactor technology by early next year.

Horizon Nuclear Power will begin operation from 16 November working from new headquarters near Gloucester. The 50:50 joint venture, created in January, aims to develop around 6GW of new nuclear capacity in the UK by 2025. It expects to invest up to £15bn and create some 11,000 jobs during construction phase. The first reactor is expected to come online around 2020.

Earlier this year the joint-venture secured development land at Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. It is now looking to establish offices close to these development sites.

Chief operating officer Alan Raymant says: “technical investigations [at the sites] are progressing well and we’ll shortly be engaging further with local organisations and the public on the detailed studies required to prepare consent applications."

The company is also progressing its competitive tender process with Areva and Westinghouse for the selection of a reactor technology. The aim is to select a preferred supplier by early 2010, Raymant says.

“The imminent publication of the Government’s Nuclear National Policy Statement is also a key step and we look forward to playing our part in the consultation process that follows. It's vital that the Government sticks to the timeline for establishing the regulatory and consenting framework for new nuclear if we are to deliver what the country needs in terms of reliable, low carbon electricity.”

The NNPS is due to be released next week.


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