Pen has gone to paper on a memorandum of understanding which will put a Japanese energy giant even closer to the heart of the British nuclear programme.
Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd – Hitachi also being the owner of Gloucester-headquartered Horizon Nuclear Power – has signed the deal with Imperial College London and Bangor University.
It is an agreement we are told enhances its commitment to support Welsh and British expertise and helps position the Gloucester operation even closer to the heart of the UK nuclear power industry.
Hitachi-GE will provide industry advice to Imperial and Bangor’s newly formed Boiling Water Reactor Research Hub and Network, drawing on its extensive BWR experience to provide technical expertise and support.
This will include part-time deployment of a researcher to Bangor and building on the existing programme of Japanese internships for UK students.
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.
Hitachi-GE president Hidetoshi Takehara said: “This hub provides focus and coordination to BWR research, ensuring that Wales and the UK develop real expertise in BWR technology for now, and for the future.
“With development of the UKs first BWR proposed 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.”
Dr Michael Bluck, director of the centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial, said: “This scheme which 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.”
Dr Bluck added: “The BWR Research Hub and Network will bring together the UK research base with Hitachi Nuclear researchers to help develop future generations of Boiling Water Reactor technology here in the UK and Wales.”
Wylfa Newydd is being developed by Horizon Nuclear Power a 100 per cent subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.
Horizon Nuclear Power is supported by Menter Newydd and its contractors, including Hitachi-GE. Wylfa Newydd project represents a multi-billion pound investment in UK infrastructure and will create tens of thousands of British jobs.