EDF unveils UK design center focused on nuclear engineering advancements

Photo courtesy EDF Energy.

Project owner EDF has unveiled a new engineering design facility in Bristol, England to support the next phase of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

By 2021, some 700 engineers from EDF and partners, Framatome UK, Atkins, Jacobs, Assystem, Anotech and Vulcain, will work at the UK EPR Design Center.

The center will bring an additional 300 jobs to Britain to support the design, construction and commissioning of UK EPR nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and Sizewell C in Suffolk.

Tilly Spencer, director of Edvance UK, said: “The UK EPR Design Center creates a collaborative environment with key strategic partners to grow the UK’s design engineering long term capability and skills. We are bringing together a diverse group of people with the right skills and experience of the UK context and global nuclear industry which will help us as we move into the next phases of construction at Hinkley Point C and look ahead to replicate not only the design, but also the learnings, at Sizewell.”

Last week, EDF Energy said the so-called “MEH” phase of Hinkley Point C construction will include installation of storage tanks, fitting of electrical systems, cables and pipework. Some 1,200 new jobs and 300 apprenticeships will be created across the British supply chain, according to the EDF announcement.

The $25 billion nuclear plant work was begun several years ago and is hoped to be completing Unit 1 by 2025. It will be the UK’s first new nuclear generation capacity in years.

Other major suppliers and contractors involved in the Hinkley Point C build-out include Areva and GE. The units will feature two 1,630-MW pressurized water reactors from Areva.

Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C were planned by British Energy about 12 years ago. EDF acquired British Energy in 2009.

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