Balfour Beatty signs alliance on modular nuclear power

By Murray Pollok19 December 2022

Balfour Beatty has signed a memorandum of understanding with Holtec Britain and Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) to develop small nuclear reactors in the UK.

Under the agreement, Balfour Beatty will support Holtec as it seeks planning approval for its 160 MW capacity SMR-160 pressurised light-water reactors in the UK.

Holtec and balfour Beatty to work on nuclean power projects in the UK Rendering of Holtec’s SMR-160 Small Modular Reactor. (Image: Holtec)

It will act as the main UK construction partner and collaborate with HDEC on the civil construction and installation of mechanical, electrical and heating, ventilation and cooling systems as well as providing equipment.

Holtec International – parent of Holtec Britain - aims to start the UK regulatory process for its SMR-160 reactors in 2023. If successful, construction of the first UK unit could start as early as 2028.

In addition to developing the SMR-160 units, US-based Holtec is a specialist in decommissioning nuclear power plants and managing spent nuclear fuel.

Stephen Tarr, CEO for Transport, Energy & Power Major Projects at Balfour Beatty, said: “We look forward to working with Holtec International to drive forward clean energy solutions. Our partnership will build on our long-standing experience and expertise in delivering nuclear projects and will ultimately support the UK’s transition towards a Net Zero future.”

Dr. Richard M. Springman, Senior VP of International Projects at Holtec International said: “The UK is at a turning point as it navigates through this energy crisis. The decisions made today will impact how future generations in the UK live and work, and the viability of its economy as a whole.

“I believe it will need multiple, complementary nuclear power plant designs based on proven Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) technology already operating in the United Kingdom to assure carbon-free energy security ten years from now; and we have to start now.”

Balfour Beatty recently signed an agreement with Aker Solutions for design and construction work on concrete floating and gravity-based offshore wind turbines in the UK.

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