Nuclear engineering company Assystem signs major agreement with Hinkley Point C

A French nuclear engineering company has secured a major multi-year deal with Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset, creating jobs across the UK.

Assystem has been named a partner in the new Hinkley Point C Commissioning Alliance – and will participate in the commissioning of the plant.

When completed, it is hoped the Bridgwater-based power station, which is being built by energy giant EDF, will be able to produce low-carbon electricity for six million homes over 60 years.

Assystem said it would use its experience commissioning European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) technology to ensure Hinkley Point C’s nuclear, safety, instrumentation and communications systems meet predetermined operational requirements. .

The company has already participated in the commissioning of other EPR reactors in France, Finland and China.

Simon Barber, chief executive of Assystem, said the contract would be “significant” for job creation across Britain, particularly locally at the Somerset site, as well as at its offices in Bristol, Blackburn , Sunderland and Derby.

He said: “The Commissioning Alliance will boost investment in UK-based skills as it will require the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and experienced engineers who are new to nuclear, to provide an exciting career in the delivery of a new first of its kind. nuclear project for more than a generation.

Assystem said that as part of its new postgraduate program it has pledged to attract at least 100 women to Britain’s nuclear industry by 2025.

He also said the creation of the Commissioning Alliance marked a “unique moment” in the UK’s civilian nuclear history, being the first time a nuclear power station had been prepared for operation since Sizewell B in the 1980s.

In September the boss of Hinkley Point C said he was ‘confident’ the nuclear power station could be a ‘cornerstone’ in the UK’s drive to achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 , despite the challenges posed to the project by the pandemic and Brexit.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the Somerset plant would also help shield the UK from “volatile” wholesale gas prices during a site visit earlier this month.

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