The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced that Horizon Nuclear Power in the UK is joining EPRI's nuclear research program in 2016.

The membership enables Horizon to access a broad range of EPRI research results and technical guidance related to the safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants. The membership builds on successful engagement over the past 18 months between Horizon and EPRI in research programs focused on new nuclear plant development, water chemistry, and, most recently, risk analysis.

Horizon will bring forward at least 5.4GW of new capacity in the UK utilizing Hitachi-GE’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor. Its lead project, Wylfa Newydd in North Wales is expected to start generating electricity in the first half of the 2020s.

"The breadth and scope of EPRI’s research and development has supported us in the very robust regulatory approvals process for the new build design and efforts required to begin building new plants," said Mark Lunn, Horizon’s Technical Director. "Ultimately, with the benefit of EPRI’s support throughout this rigorous process, we will be able to generate enough secure, reliable, low-carbon electricity to power ten million homes."

EPRI’s technical products have already informed development of the UK ABWR design, site preparatory work, and environmental assessments and will continue to be valuable through the entire life cycle of the project. Horizon and EPRI signed a three-year agreement during a meeting at Horizon’s headquarters in Gloucester, UK on June 27.

"We are pleased to welcome Horizon as a full member in our nuclear research program," said Neil Wilmshurst, EPRI vice president and chief nuclear officer. "The new build project at Wylfa Newydd will bring a proven nuclear design to the U.K. Our research results and global collaboration will support Horizon as it seeks to bring reliable, environmentally-friendly power to millions of UK citizens."

All nuclear utilities in the United States and 19 international utilities are full members of EPRI’s nuclear research program.