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Iberdrola and GE Hitachi Join Forces to Reuse UK Nuclear Waste

21 Jul 2014

Iberdrola and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation towards the deployment of PRISM technology as a credible long-term solution to reuse existing reprocessed plutonium in the UK.

The two companies, together with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) which advises on the decommissioning plans for current and planned nuclear power stations and is in charge of waste management, will analyse the options for GEH’s PRISM technology which can reuse the plutonium stockpile to generate electricity.

Iberdrola will bring its expertise and excellence as a nuclear power operator in Spain and provider of nuclear engineering services as well as the experience of more than ten years developing nuclear power projects.

In January 2014, the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) noted that, on the information provided, PRISM’s fourth generation nuclear power technology was considered a credible option for managing the UK’s plutonium stockpile.

PRISM is a proven, safe and mature technology which provides a safe, innovative and clean solution to harness the remaining energy potential of used nuclear fuel, in the form of plutonium, to generate electricity free of CO2 emissions whilst creating significant investment in UK jobs and skills.

First estimates by GEH indicate that PRISM technology, with a life span of at least 60 years, could recycle the UK’s entire plutonium stockpile -which amounts to over 100 tonnes- in 25 years.

GEH, the global nuclear alliance between GE and Hitachi is one of the world’s key suppliers of nuclear technology and services. For several decades, GEH has been partnering with Iberdrola in the development and deployment of nuclear projects.

Iberdrola operates 3,403 MW nuclear capacity through its participation in seven nuclear power plants in Spain (Cofrentes, Almaraz –units I and II–, Trillo, Garoña, Vandellós II and Ascó II). The company also has proven expertise in the UK where its subsidiary ScottishPower is one of the Big Six energy companies.

In addition to Iberdrola’s experience in the nuclear industry, the Group’s engineering and project management subsidiary, Iberdrola Ingenieaia, is well established in this sector. It is currently participating in the construction of unit 3 at Flamanville nuclear power plant, in France, and has recently completed the upgrade of Laguna Verde nuclear power plant in Mexico. It also participates in the consortium that manufactures coils for the international nuclear fusion research and engineering project (ITER) which is currently building the world’s largest fusion reactor.

Story appears courtesy of Iberdrola.

 

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