Hitachi-GE to develop UK and Welsh BWR expertise

31 October 2016

Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy announced today it is to provide industry advice to Imperial College and Bangor University's newly formed Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Research Hub and Network, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding. Cooperation will include part-time deployment of a researcher to Bangor, and building on the existing program of Japanese internships for UK students.

Hitachi-GE, Bangor Uni, Imperial - October 2016 - 460
From left to right: John Hughes, Kumiaki Moryia and Michael Bluck at the signing ceremony today (Image: Hitachi)

Hitachi-GE is already supporting nuclear development in North Wales, providing the UK ABWR reactor to Horizon Nuclear Power for Wylfa Newydd, under contract to delivery team Menter Newydd.

President and Representative Director of Hitachi-GE, Hidetoshi Takehara, said: "This is about helping create a deeper and broader pool of BWR expertise here in Wales and across the UK, supporting the engineers and industry of the future ... With development of the UK's first BWR proposed just up the road at Wylfa Newydd, this scheme helps ensure that project is a springboard to the UK becoming a world-power in its domestic expertise on BWR technology."

Michael Bluck, director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial, said the scheme will "examine research needs and formulate projects to support the continued production of low carbon, baseload electricity for the UK and many other countries for decades to come."

John Hughes, vice chancellor of Bangor University, said the university will "continue to ensure that the benefits from the proposed investment in new nuclear facilities utilising this technology at Wylfa Newydd will be maximised both in North Wales and within the wider UK".

The BWR research hub was formed through a memorandum of understanding between Imperial College and Bangor University in June. It is led by a steering group chaired by Imperial College's Robin Grimes and will shortly appoint a director to coordinate its activities. Also on the steering group are the founding partners (Imperial College and Bangor University); BWR technical partners - Hitachi-GE and Horizon Nuclear Power; supply chain partners such as Amec-Foster-Wheeler; the Welsh Government; the UK Government; and other interested parties such as the EPSRC and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Hitachi has participated in the design, development and construction of 23 nuclear power plants within Japan, including BWR and four Advanced Boiling Water Reactors.

The ABWR is operational at four units at three sites in Japan and a further five units are in construction; two in Taiwan and three in Japan. Two UK ABWRs will be deployed at Wylfa Newydd, generating around 2.7 GWe between them.

Wylfa Newydd is being developed by Horizon Nuclear Power, a 100% subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.

Established by Hitachi and GE in July 2007, Hitachi-GE has been involved with 23 reactors in Japan to date, including those currently under construction.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News