EDF Energy has opened a new engineering design facility in Bristol, England, to support the next phase of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, the company announced on July 14. The UK EPR Design Centre at Aztec West brings together nuclear designers and engineers from EDF and British engineering partners and suppliers, including Framatome UK, Atkins, Jacobs, Assystem, Anotech, and Vulcain, the announcement said.
About 700 people from the United Kingdom and elsewhere will be employed at the center by 2021, according to EDF. The company also estimates that the center will bring an additional 300 jobs to Britain to support the design, construction, and commissioning of EPR reactors at Hinkley Point C and at the proposed Sizewell C station in Suffolk. Last month, Blackburn-based Assystem announced the creation of 100 jobs in the United Kingdom to support the construction of Hinkley Point C.
What they’re saying: “The UK EPR Design Centre creates a collaborative environment with key strategic partners to grow the U.K.’s design engineering long-term capability and skills,” said Tilly Spencer, director of Edvance UK, a joint subsidiary of EDF and Framatome, who is leading the center. “We are bringing together a diverse group of people with the right skills and experience of the U.K. 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.”
Background: In September 2008, French utility Électricité de France announced that it had agreed to a takeover of British Energy (which became EDF Energy), operator of Hinkley Point B, a nuclear power station in Somerset with two gas-cooled reactors, and that it was planning to build an adjacent power station, Hinkley Point C, which would house two 1,630-MWe EPRs. The U.K. government approved the project in September 2016, following a favorable vote by the Électricité de France board. Hinkley Point Units C1 and C2 are scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2025 and 2026, respectively. If completed, they will be the first new nuclear units in the United Kingdom since Sizewell B began commercial operation in 1995.