14th Dec 2016
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Reactor design for new Anglesey power plant enters consultation stage

A consultation has been launched by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Environment Agency examining Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) design which is proposed by Horizon Nuclear Power for the construction of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey in north Wales.

The proposed power plant will be built on land beside the former Magnox Wylfa Power Station, which is now being decommissioned. Horizon Nuclear Power estimate up to 850 permanent jobs will be created. During construction a workforce of around 4,000 is anticipated, with between 8,000 and 10,000 workers during peak periods.

It is hoped the power plant will come into operation during the first half of the next decade, generating a minimum of 2,700MW of electricity.

Various types of nuclear reactor are in operation around the world, with one of the most common types the Boiling Water Reactor (BWR), of which the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) is the latest design. BWRs are known as direct cycle reactors, meaning they work by passing the steam which has been generated inside the reactor directly to the turbine. The ABWR is a generation III+ reactor, operational at four sites in Japan: two at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa; one at Hamaoka and one at Shika. There are a further four in construction, two at Lungmen in Taiwan, and one at both Shimane and Ohma in Japan.

The process, known as a Generic Design Assessment (GDA),  was launched on the 12 December and looks at safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. NRW's Tim Jones commented: "At Wylfa Newydd we will do this in three ways: assessing the design of the reactors, determining site specific environmental permits and providing advice to other organisations on decisions they need to make. This consultation is the first step in the process.

“It is our job to ensure that any new nuclear power station will meet high standards of environmental protection and waste management, ensuring that our communities are kept safe from environmental harm.”

NRW and the Environment Agency will liaise closely with the Office for Nuclear Regulation to assess the acceptability of the proposed design. If the design passes the GDA, the next steps will be application for a Nuclear Site Licence, environmental permits and full planning in order to gain a Development Consent Order.

Details of the consultation can be found at:

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