Horizon Nuclear Power, the UK subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, and US power utility Exelon Generation on 15 February announced a partnership.

Exelon Generation operates the largest fleet of nuclear plants in the USA, while Horizon is planning to build an NPP at Wylfa Newydd on the isle of Anglesey in Wales. A team of four Exelon specialists will work alongside Horizon’s team, providing expertise in engineering, maintenance, operations and training.

The Exelon team will support Horizon’s Safety & Generation Director, Greg Evans, as Horizon develops its own nuclear operating model. Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne said: "With its proven expertise and decades of experience, Exelon will be a vital part of our success. Alongside our own expert people, they will form a team that will ready us to successfully run Wylfa Newydd even as we continue to progress towards its construction."

The Wylfa Newydd project plans to construct two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors. The deployment of the UK ABWR at Wylfa Newydd is seen as paving the way for the wider deployment of the technology in the UK and potentially globally.

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation has said the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for the UK ABWR is on track to be completed by the end of this year. Last month, Horizon was awarded a licensee certificate by Bureau Veritas for the procurement of equipment required for the Wylfa Newydd plant. The certificate is verification that organisations yet to be granted a nuclear site licence have suitable management systems, quality arrangements and supply chain practices in place before the purchase of any nuclear safety related equipment or services.  

Horizon said in December that it wants to submit planning applications for the Wylfa Newydd reactors in 2017. Reuters reported in December that the Japanese government and a Hitachi Ltd unit would put together a package worth around JPY1,000bn ($8.75bn) for the Wylfa project. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Development Bank of Japan will provide financing for the project, an official told Reuters. The Nikkei newspaper said Hitachi would invest about 10% of the expected GBP19bn ($23.6bn) cost of the project. The reports said Nippon Export and Investment Insurance would provide credit insurance, while Japanese and UK financial institutions, including Japan's megabanks and HSBC, will be called on to put up additional capital.