UK greenlights Hitachi reactor design for nuclear power project

A major nuclear power project in the UK has moved forward this week after the country’s nuclear regulator granted approval for its proposed reactor design.

On Thursday the Office for Nuclear Regulation greenlighted Hitachi’s design for its subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power’s planned 2.7 GW Wylfa Newydd plant on the Welsh island of Anglesey. The approval ends a five-year regulatory process.

The Japanese-made advanced boiling water reactor will be the fifth of its type in the world, Hitachi said, with four currently operational in Japan and two more under construction.

Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon’s CEO, called the approval a “huge milestone for Horizon and a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK”.

The firm will now need to organize financing for the project by mid-2018 and is reportedly discussing options for public funding with the government, which has come under fire for its financing of EDF’s Hinkley Point C project.

Horizon also hopes to build a second 2.7 GW plant in Gloucestershire, England, and aims to begin construction in the late 2020s. à‚ 

The Wylfa plant will be located on land beside Magnox’s 980 MW nuclear plant, which came online in 1971 and was shut down in 2015. It is currently being decommissioned.à‚ 

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