UK-based engineering company Atkins, a member of SNC-Lavalin Group, has been awarded a GBP5.0 million (USD6.2 million) contract for the enabling works basic design at the Sizewell C site. It will be the first programme of construction work to start at the proposed twin-EPR nuclear power plant in Suffolk, England.How the proposed Sizewell C plant could appear (Image: EDF Energy)
Enabling works prepare the site for the start of the main civil works and marine works construction, and determine the optimal layout and sequence of the construction of the site, to ensure safety, efficiency and minimal impact on surrounding villages. They also aim to minimise the environmental impact on the surrounding area during construction, including the design of a dedicated crossing through a designated conservation area.
The work will also specify future site facilities and infrastructure required until commercial operation of the plant starts. In addition, it will determine the most cost-effective construction techniques and innovative design solutions, and maximise replication from the Hinkley Point C (HPC) plant in Somerset. The work also includes the delivery of information required for the Development Consent Order, the Nuclear Site Licence and other key permits.
"This programme of work will see us combine our extensive experience in the nuclear new build sector with the use of innovative digital tools," said Andrew Smart, project delivery director at Atkins. "Our delivery model will involve a great amount of collaboration and alliance working, to drive efficiencies for EDF and their ECI contractors. To do this, we will draw upon our long-standing history of working within the nuclear new build industry - including our vast experience of working with EDF on other projects in the UK such as Hinkley Point C - to deliver engineering solutions that can reduce costs and speed up the construction process."
Jim Crawford, EDF Energy's Sizewell C project development director, said: "Sizewell C is progressing well with Stage 4 consultation under way. The experience Atkins has gained at Hinkley Point C will help ensure we have the site prepared and ready for the construction of the power station, if planning consent is granted."
Under a strategic investment agreement signed in October 2016, CGN agreed to take a 33.5% stake in EDF Energy's HPC project, as well as jointly develop new nuclear power plants at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. The HPC and Sizewell C plants will be based on France's EPR reactor technology, while the Bradwell plant will feature the HPR1000 (Hualong One) design.
Commenting on the launch for consultation earlier this week by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of its assessment of a Regulated Asset Base model to finance new nuclear, EDF Energy said: "As a near replica of Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C will be cheaper to construct and finance. It will benefit from the experience of Hinkley Point C's engineers, contractors and suppliers and lessons from other nuclear projects, including operational EPR plants. It can also repeat the huge boost for industry, jobs and skills already happening due to Hinkley Point C's construction, which is on schedule."
Like HPC, Sizewell C will be able to supply 7% of the UK's electricity once it enters commercial operation.