Horizon reaches new milestone for construction at Wylfa

Mark Lunn, Horizon; Peter Whiers and Graeme McLeish, Bureau Veritas; and Antony Webb, Horizon
Mark Lunn, Horizon; Peter Whiers and Graeme McLeish, Bureau Veritas; and Antony Webb, Horizon

Horizon Nuclear Power has been cleared to begin purchasing major equipment for its proposed new reactor at Wylfa in North Wales. The independent assessment organisation, Bureau Veritas, issued Horizon with a Licensee Certificate confirming that its internal arrangements are suitable for the procurement of Long Lead Items. This is a requirement so that long lead time components such as the reactor pressure vessel can be ordered before the issuing of a nuclear site license by the regulators. This clears the way for the first component orders to be placed later this year.

Long Lead Items have long manufacturing times and are required early in the construction of the power station therefore they need to be ordered in advance of the main build on site. The Licensee Certificate, only the second to be awarded in the UK, is the culmination of two years of preparation by Horizon and six months of assessment by Bureau Veritas.

Joe Savage, Head of Engineering Procurement and Construction, at Horizon said: “This is a significant milestone for Horizon as it marks another step in our journey towards becoming a Nuclear Site Licensee and the construction and operation of Wylfa Newydd. The Licensee Certificate demonstrates our ability to act as an ‘Intelligent Customer’ when procuring items or services from our suppliers to ensure they meet the correct technical specification and that adequate documentation is available to justify the safety of those items.”

Peter Whiers, Nuclear Engineering Manager at Bureau Veritas, said: “It is very rewarding to work as part of a team to build something that will supply large amounts of energy for generations to come. Nuclear Engineering can be very challenging at times, however Horizon has created such a team and the award of the Licensee Certificate is the culmination of a significant amount of work resulting in the implementation of an excellent management system that combines safety, security, health, quality and environmental aspects.”

The first Long Lead Items, due for procurement in 2017 are the materials for: the Hydraulic Control Units that form part of the reactor’s primary shutdown systems; the Reactor Pressure Vessel; and the Reinforced Concrete Containment Vessel Liner.

The Certificate is valid for three years and will be re-validated on an annual basis until Horizon is granted a Nuclear Site Licence (NSL) by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). Horizon will be applying for its NSL in 2017 and expects grant subject to the ONR’s approval, in 2018