UK-based Horizon Nuclear Power, part of Japan’s Hitachi Ltd on 19 July announced a partnership with Spain-based Tecnatom, a global nuclear training services provider, as it looks to increase the future workforce for its lead project Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey, North Wales.

The deal will see Tecnatom lead a training support team including GEN II Engineering and Technology Training Ltd and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, which collectively brings "a vast amount of global experience" in nuclear operations training.

The training support team will work alongside Horizon’s in-house training team and local training providers to enhance and refine Horizon's existing apprentice programme. It will also advise on other local apprentice programmes in collaboration with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, the main college in North West Wales.

Hitachi said the partnership would see Horizon strengthening its links with Bangor University to introduce nuclear elements into its existing courses. The company also plans to work with Bangor University and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai to look into the feasibility of introducing degree apprenticeships.

The training support team will provide a rigorous, Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) in line with global best practice, Hitachi said. The first part of the project will involve a comprehensive training needs analysis and set the scope of the training requirements for licenced company roles, including control room operators, field operators, engineers, maintenance and radiation protection technicians, chemists and other support staff. The subsequent phase of work will cover the delivery of training.

Duncan Hawthorne, Chief Executive Officer at Horizon said the Tecnatom training support team is "particularly well qualified as they have a wealth of experience and are well used to working with personnel from a range of different cultures globally often in bi-lingual communities."

Horizon recently completed a third and final round of Pre-Application Consultation on Anglesey ahead of its main planning consent, a Development Consent Order due for submission later this year. Its technology, the UK advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) is progressing through the final stage of the UK's generic design assessment process, which is on target for completion in December 2017. Also, Horizon submitted an application for a Nuclear Site Licence in March 2017 which if successful, will be granted in 2018.

Photo (L-R): Dr Ian Rees, Executive Director, Business Development, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai; Francisco Sanchez, Safety, Operation & Training Services Director, Tecnatom;  Francisco Javier Guerra, Chief Executive Officer, Tecnatom; Duncan Hawthorne, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon; Professor Paul Spencer,Dean of College of Physical and Applied Sciences, Bangor University;  Greg Evans, Operations Director, Horizon and a scale model of the ABWR reactor.