The Centre will not only co-ordinate Hitachi’s nuclear research activities in Europe formed by a core team, but also provide additional resources to facilitate the development of safe and efficient nuclear power technologies based on advanced plant maintenance technology and proven decommissioning techniques in Europe.
Through the ENRC, Hitachi will be conducting joint research with UK and European universities to bring together the leading technologies developed in Europe and Hitachi’s BWR (Boiling Water Reactor) technology, to develop even safer and more efficient nuclear power technologies, including technology to reduce the level of radiation exposure to plant personnel, and technology to raise plant utilization. Hitachi will also be undertaking R&D for medium to long-term issues such as reducing the volume of waste and lowering the cost of decommissioning.
The nuclear power industry in the UK has a long history which dates back to the beginning of commercial operation of the Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station in 1956.The R&D that has underpinned the industry has mainly been conducted at universities, and is particularly strong in basic research fields such as materials and analytical measurement, as well as decommissioning techniques, including the disposal of waste, since there is a large number of ageing nuclear power facilities in the UK.
Since April 2014, Hitachi has been collaborating with The University of Manchester on technology to reduce the level of radiation exposure in annual inspection. Further, Hitachi has been working to actively develop the infrastructure of nuclear powergeneration in Europe. In August this year, the GDA (Generic Design Assessment) of
the UK ABWR (Advanced Boiling Water Reactor) moved to step 3 for Hitachi’s new UK Nuclear Power Plant Project, operated by Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd., which Hitachi acquired in November 2012., In addition, at the end of July 2014, Hitachi came to an agreement with the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy to discuss establishment of the Project Company to proceed with the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant Project in Lithuania.
Hitachi held ABWR public seminars on July 1st and 2nd 2014 at Imperial College London to improve the understanding of BWR technology. The similar seminar will be held on October 21st and 22nd 2014 at The University of Manchester as well as at Birmingham and Bangor Universities next year. Furthermore, Hitachi would like to build further relationships with UK academic institutions in the years ahead, and Hitachi’s special relationship with Communities in Wales, in particular, will be important to future engagement.
Hitachi will be bringing together advanced European technologies and its own nuclear power technologies, as it proceeds with the global
deployment of highly reliable and efficient nuclear power plants. Hitachi will also w ork actively towards resolving medium to long-term issues such as the decommissioning of reactors in Japan.