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New engineering design centre strengthens Britain’s nuclear expertise

  • UK EPR Design Centre will bring an extra 300 jobs to Bristol by 2021
  • Innovative approach brings expertise closer to Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C
  • British partners join EDF’s nuclear engineers in new UK -based collaboration

A new engineering design centre in Bristol has opened to support the next phase of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The UK EPR Design Centre at Aztec West brings nuclear designers and engineers together from EDF and British engineering partners and suppliers.

The team will be able to quickly resolve issues to support the construction and commissioning programme, using their experience of the EPR nuclear reactor design and UK regulatory environment. This approach draws on experience from other EPR construction projects and is another of the innovations helping to drive efficiency and productivity at Hinkley Point C.

Led by EDF, around 700 people from different companies from the UK and abroad will be employed there by 2021. It will bring an additional 300 jobs to Britain to support the design, construction and commissioning of UK EPR nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and Sizewell C in Suffolk. It will build the long-term skills needed to support operation of the power stations.  

The UK EPR Design Centre will play a vital part in the delivery of Britain’s ambition to fight climate change and reach Net Zero emissions. It will bring together a number of supply and engineering firms including EDF, Framatome UK, Atkins, Jacobs, Assystem, Anotech and Vulcain. Blackburn-based nuclear engineering firm Assystem recently announced the creation of 100 jobs in the UK to support construction at Hinkley Point C.

For Sizewell C much of the design of Hinkley Point C will be replicated, reducing risk to cost and schedule. The UK EPR Design Centre team will use its experience of the Hinkley Point C design to ensure success of the replication strategy for Sizewell C. 

Tilly Spencer, Director of Edvance UK, is leading the UK EPR Design Centre. She said:

“The UK EPR Design Centre creates a collaborative environment with key strategic partners to grow the UK’s design engineering long term capability and skills. We are bringing together a diverse group of people with the right skills and experience of the UK context and global nuclear industry which will help us as we move into the next phases of construction at Hinkley Point C and look ahead to replicate not only the design, but also the learnings, at Sizewell.”