Tuesday, 10 May 2011
A UK company of E.ON and RWE
Our plans for new nuclear power at Oldbury
In this issue
Links with local businesses
Working with South Gloucestershire Council
Meet the team
New drop-in surgeries
This year we are introducing a series of regular drop-in surgeries to give local people the chance to raise questions about our proposals for a new nuclear power station near Oldbury-on- Severn directly with members of the Horizon team.
These events follow on from the successful public drop-in sessions we held last autumn in which we explained circular hybrid cooling towers are our preferred choice for Oldbury (see page 3). The first of our informal drop-ins will take place in June in Oldbury and Thornbury with future events planned for October. These
TO OUR FIFTH UPDATE NEWSLETTER.
Nuclear issues have been high profile recently following the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the knock-on effects for the power plant at Fukushima. Our sympathies go out to everyone affected.
As we develop our project, both Horizon and our reactor designers are required to look at all conceivable risks, including earthquakes and flooding. A flood risk assessment is one of the first things on our agenda. Although the seismic risks are much smaller in the UK, and the reactors used here are technologically very different, we’re paying close attention to the events in Japan to see what lessons can be learned.
There is an important independent report now being prepared by Dr Mike Weightman, the UK’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations. This will help shape our proposals for new power generation at Oldbury.
We believe there is a fundamental need for nuclear power if we’re going to tackle climate change and maintain electricity supplies in the face of growing demand and the closure of older stations. The need for safety is even more fundamental and you have our commitment that this will always be our number one priority.
Horizon’s Safety Case Manager, Ming Ang, explains how safety is an essential part of every stage in the development process for Oldbury in our Meet the Team article on page 4.
James Eaton, Oldbury Project Developer
l This newsletter is being delivered by hand to around 15,000 homes on both sides of the Severn and copies are also distributed to One Stop Shops and libraries throughout South Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean and Stroud District Council. It can also be downloaded by visiting www.horizonnuclearpower.com/ oldbury.php
Horizon now has a dedicated page on the My Thornbury website, an independent news and information site for people living in and around Thornbury. Go to www.mythornbury.co.uk/horizon
surgeries will be in addition to future public exhibitions we will hold as our project develops.
Dates for the first surgeries are:
Tuesday June 14th, from 3.30pm to 8.30pm Thornbury/The Cossham Hall: Thursday June 16th, from 3.30pm to 8.30pm
October 17th, from 3.30pm to 8.30pm
Thornbury/The Cossham Hall:
Tuesday 18th October, from 3.30pm to 8.30pm
HORIZON NUCLEAR POWER
Horizon was pleased to be involved in the launch of the recently formed Gloucestershire Nuclear Group. It aims to build a partnership of businesses, educational establishments, politicians, local authorities
and unions to promote continued nuclear investment in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.
The initiative is also backed by a number of local MPs and county councillors, major businesses and trade union, Prospect, as well as Magnox, the operators of the existing power station at Oldbury.
The Group seeks to build on the successes of similar programmes elsewhere in the country, such as West Cumbria’s Energy Coast and Anglesey’s Energy Island.
It believes there is an unprecedented opportunity to develop the area as a national centre of excellence for the nuclear sector. This would provide a major boost for local businesses and help to drive the development of the skills needed to build and operate the nuclear plants of the future.
At the Group’s launch earlier this spring, Alan Raymant, Horizon’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We intend to play a positive long-term role in the communities where we operate and very much welcome this initiative.”
Nuclear expertise built up in the region is of great value to the UK. More than 2,500 skilled nuclear workers are already
Partnership to build on
region’s nuclear expertise
From left: Alan Raymant (Horizon Nuclear Power Chief Operating Officer); Mike Graham (Prospect National Secretary); Neil Baldwin (Managing Director, Magnox Ltd); Neil Carmichael (MP for Stroud); Penny Wride (Chair of Berkeley Site Stakeholder Group); Mike Clancy (Prospect Deputy General Secretary); Mark Lesinski (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Delivery Director) at the Gloucestershire Nuclear Group launch.
employed in the area, including at EDF operations at Barnwood and at contractors such as at Babcock International, WS Atkins and Serco. In addition Horizon’s head office at Gloucester Business Park is now home to more than 100 employees in the development of proposals for new nuclear plants at Wylfa and Oldbury.
Mike Graham, National Secretary of union Prospect, said: “Nuclear is key to helping deliver long-term sustainable employment, a strong viable economy and major business benefits for the area.”
It is estimated that a new nuclear plant at Oldbury alone would pump at least £100m a year into the local economy during construction and tens of millions per year during its 60 years of operation.
Horizon wants local businesses to be able to gain maximum benefit from this opportunity. To help develop relationships with local businesses we have launched a dedicated Suppliers’ Portal on our website. Potential suppliers can make contact with our supply team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental studies focus on estuary
To help us understand the ecology of our site, we are continuing to carry out a series of environmental studies.
Working with bodies such as Natural England, these studies will provide baseline information to help us incorporate mitigation measures, if necessary, into our project design from an early stage.
Over the winter months this work included our continued survey into over- wintering birds along the edge of the Severn Estuary.
The extensive analysis, carried out by environmental specialists, will
provide supporting information for our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report which will accompany a future planning application.
This work follows some early archaeological surveys carried out last year to further our understanding of the site’s archaeology. In addition, we will shortly be starting our preliminary noise studies. This involves establishing baseline noise levels at various points around the site, so you may see people in the area with monitoring equipment.
A turnstone, one of many residents of the Severn Estuary.
BUILDING LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS
COMMUNITY UPDATE ISSUE 5
Cooling tower preference
Initial visualisations of what hybrid cooling towers could look like from viewpoints around Oldbury can be downloaded from the document library section on our web site at www.horizonnuclearpower.com/oldbury
Visualisations of hybrid cooling towers were first shown at our drop-in sessions last autumn and followed our announcement that circular hybrid towers are our preferred choice for Oldbury.
At up to 70m (230 ft) tall, hybrid cooling
towers are more in keeping with the height of the existing Magnox power station.
Deciding on the type of cooling tower is a key milestone for our Oldbury project and helps to shape the future development of our proposals. Horizon believes that hybrid
Hybrid cooling towers at a distance of 4.4 kilometres.
towers represent a preferable option when a balance of technical, commercial and environmental factors is considered.
The full range of visualisations will also be available to view at our forthcoming informal drop-in surgeries (see page 1).
Talks to local groups
Members of the Horizon Oldbury Development team have given a number of presentations on our proposals to local groups and organisations recently, with further talks scheduled throughout 2011.
The meetings are a great way for us to bring local people up to date and provide an opportunity for members of each group to raise any questions they may have.
As part of our continued programme of local engagement we are keen to schedule more of these individual events and would
like to hear from more local groups or organisations who would be interested in meeting with us.
Please contact us via our free phone number 0800 130 3125 or email us at email@example.com, to tell us about your group and when you would like to meet us.
Framework talks underway
Horizon is working with South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) to develop a Planning Performance Agreement.
Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs) allow developers and Councils to agree how advice on proposed major developments is provided. They are not new and the Government recommends them for large projects, such as the proposed new power station near Oldbury.
A PPA ensures that the Council can maintain its independence and impartiality while fulfilling its duties under the new planning regime. It also allows SGC to recover costs for the additional work that is required in providing advice to Horizon. Project Developer Rebecca Hardy
explains: “Ultimately, we must submit our main planning application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) or its successor, the body set up to receive and examine applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects.
“As part of this process SGC will provide advice during the development and will be invited by the IPC to submit a Local Impact Report on our proposals. Because of the scale of the project, it is recognised that they will need to start this work ahead of
our application being made. Having a PPA in place from an early stage ensures a transparent arrangement and allows SCG to carry out the additional work without affecting its normal duties. It also means that we’ll fully understand any key concerns that the council may have while preparing our application.”
TALKING WITH THE COMMUNITY
HORIZON NUCLEAR POWER
Safety work is integral to
In order to build and operate a new nuclear power station at Oldbury, Horizon has to secure a large number of permissions, including a nuclear site license from the Office of Nuclear Regulation and environmental permits from the Environment Agency. This is in addition to a Development Consent Order, which is effectively the planning permission for the scheme.
Safety Case Manager Ming Ang, pictured right, explains what this means for the 10–strong Horizon licensing team, and supporting contractors, based at Horizon’s head office in Gloucester.
Q What is the role of the site licensing team?
Essentially we are responsible for ensuring we have all the necessary licenses, nuclear consents and permits in place to allow the project to go ahead.
This involves satisfying the regulators that we have the people, systems and procedures to safely and effectively design, construct, commission, operate and eventually decommission a nuclear power plant at each of our two sites.
Q What are you currently working on?
One of our key areas of focus at present is the preparation of a Management Prospectus which will describe how we will safely manage a very large construction project and then take the new power station into operation.
We are also working on a site specific safety case that builds on the Generic Design Assessments (GDA) being carried out by the Office of Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency.
Q How does your work differ from the Government’s
reactor design assessment?
The GDA studies are focused on evaluating the two possible reactor designs that could be approved for new build in the UK. Our safety case also takes on board the site-specific characteristics, such as geography and geology, which will impact on the way that each plant is designed, constructed and operated.
Q What does this mean at Oldbury?
Because of Oldbury’s location on the Severn Estuary, in developing the safety case we will need to allow for the possible
impact of climate change on rising sea levels over the planned lifetime of the proposed new plant.
We also need to define measures to make sure the plant is safe in the event of tidal and surface water flooding, including an extreme 1 in 10,000 year event which would include the type that occurred along the Severn in the early 1600s.
Flood mitigation measures will also bring potential opportunities to improve surface water management across the surrounding area.
Similarly, we’ll have to demonstrate to the regulator that the design of the foundations for the specific ground conditions at Oldbury are acceptable and that the risk from earthquakes, tsunami, extreme weather events and man-made hazards such as aircraft are accounted for.
Q What effect will recent events in Japan have for
We will obviously need to await the outcome of the Weightman report, to see what lessons need to be learnt and what, if any, changes would need to be made to the design of nuclear reactors for use in the UK.
Any such changes would be instigated through the nuclear site licensing process. Safety is and remains our number one priority.
If you have any queries or issues you would like to raise with us, please call our usual freephone number 0800 130 3125
or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information go to www.horizonnuclearpower.com
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Posted by Reg Illingworth at 15:35