Engineering company Assystem said it had been appointed as an alliance partner on the new Hinkley Point C Commissioning Alliance.
The new multi-year contract will be key to making the UK’s largest low-carbon power plant operational. Assystem said it will bring its experience in commissioning European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) technology to provide assurance that the plant’s nuclear, safety, instrumentation and communications systems meet pre-determined operational requirements.
“Assystem is committed to supporting the projects that will enable the energy transition, such as large-scale energy projects like HPC, that will anchor the UK’s future low-carbon energy mix through the provision of stable and secure decarbonised electricity.”
As a strategic partner to EDF, Assystem has a strong team of commissioning experts with unique knowledge of the EPR technology under construction at HPC, gained through the commissioning of other EPR reactors in France, Finland and China.
The creation of the Commissioning Alliance marks a unique moment in the UK’s civil nuclear history being the first time that a NPP has been prepared for operation since Sizewell B in the 1980s.
The Commissioning Alliance will present Assystem’s UK-based apprentices and engineers, many at graduate and early career level, with a once-in-a-career opportunity to gain the skills required to commission this type of technology. Assystem said that to mark “this rebirth moment for the UK nuclear industry”, it is investing in “achieving greater diversity in the Commissioning Alliance through its new graduate scheme, which includes a specific commitment to attract at least 100 women to UK nuclear roles by 2025”.
Simon Barber, Assystem’s Managing Director said Assystem will bring its global expertise of commissioning, training schemes and proven digital tools to create a new civil nuclear commissioning capability for the UK. “The Commissioning Alliance will drive investment in UK-based skills as it will require the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and experienced engineers who are new to nuclear, to provide an exciting career in delivering a first of a kind new nuclear project in well over a generation. “This major contract will be significant in creating jobs across the UK, particularly local to the HPC site, in our offices in Bristol, and also at our other offices in the UK, including Blackburn, Sunderland and Derby.”
Photo: Hinkely Point C construction site pictured in November (Photo: EDF Energy)