Wylfa Newydd

(l-r) Andy Bevan, Nuclear Site Licence Manager and Anthony Webb, Safety and Licensing Director

Major step forward for Wylfa Newydd Power Station

Horizon Nuclear Power has taken another major step towards delivering The Wylfa Newydd power station with the submission of its application for a nuclear site licence.

A site licence is one of the main permissions Horizon will need as it looks to build and operate two UK Advanced-Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) units on Anglesey in Wales.

Receipt of the application by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) now triggers a rigorous 19-month programme of assessment and intervention to establish whether Horizon can demonstrate it will be in control of all safety related activities on its site.

The application follows more than two years of preparation by Horizon and focuses on topics such as the suitability of the organisation, the suitability of the site and the suitability of its reactor design for use at the site.

The ONR will only grant a Nuclear Site Licence (NSL) once it is satisfied that Horizon has met the 36 Licence Conditions and licensee obligations required to demonstrate it is capable and competent to install, operate and decommission a nuclear facility. If licensed, Horizon will then be regulated by the ONR for the full lifecycle of the site from construction to decommissioning.

Anthony Webb, safety and licensing, director at Horizon, said, “Today’s announcement marks a significant development in the maturity and growth of Horizon as we get ready to build and operate our lead site at Wylfa Newydd. 

“We already have a proven technology, aligned with experienced leadership, and we are rapidly building the wider capability and organisation to help ensure success.  Our focus will now be fully on providing the ONR with confidence in our ability to safely deliver this crucial project.”

In preparation for this week’s announcement Horizon recently created a Site Licence Company Board to be chaired by Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive officer of Horizon Nuclear Power. Horizon also appointed experienced industry experts William Doig and Dr Ken Petrunik as independent non-executive directors to strengthen the board’s nuclear credentials.

The nuclear site licence application comes as Horizon prepares to undertake its final stage of community consultation in the summer ahead of submitting its Development Consent Order (DCO) later this year and as its UK ABWR reactor technology progresses through the fourth and final stage of its Generic Design Assessment, on track to complete by the end of Dec 2017. 

If consent is granted, Horizon aims to receive all the necessary permissions by the end of 2018.