The BWR Research Hub and Network was established in 2016 to help encourage research into boiling water reactors in the United Kingdom. Globally, boiling water reactors (BWRs) are the second most common reactor type used for nuclear electricity generation, however the UK has relatively little experience of their operation.

The Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa Newydd project plans to deploy Hitachi GE Advanced Boiling Water reactors on the Isle of Anglesey with subsequent units intended at Oldbury in South Gloucestershire. On their completion, boiling water reactors will represent a considerable portion of UK electricity generating capacity. As a result the BWR Research Hub and Network aims to encourage and coordinate research into boiling water reactor technology.

With support from:


Nuclear Academics Discussion Meeting 2019 at Bangor University 10th-11th September – Registration Now Open

Bangor UniversityBangor University will host the 2019 UK Nuclear Academics Meeting, on the 10th and 11th of September 2019.  The meeting  will be held at Reichel Hall.

The meeting provides a forum for academics working on nuclear energy related research, from new build through to decommissioning of existing reactors to discuss topics of common interest. This year there will be speakers from industry, academia, both national and international. 

There is also an optional tour of the Trawsfynydd site – although places are limited so book soon via the link below.

The draft agenda and more information can be found here.

Registration is now open. Book accommodation and register here. 


Event announcement: Uranium Science 21-22 January 2019, University of Bristol 🗓 🗺

This event is not organised by the BWR Hub but may be of interest to our readers.

Uranium Science

Organiser’s description:

Uranium Science is a topical conference, providing a platform to encourage and accelerate collaboration within the uranium community. This inaugural conference will be held at the University of Bristol on 21st – 22nd January 2019, and will include discussions along the following themes:

Fundamental Science 

Condensed matter physics of uranium, devices, and nuclear materials.

Environmental Science and Forensics

Provenance, geolocation, and detection.

Uranium Chemistry and Corrosion

From fundamental reaction kinetics to bulk materials degradation.

Nuclear Fuel Behaviour

Thermal properties, irradiation damage, and fuel-water interface.

  • Location: University of Bristol
  • Dates: 21st-22nd January 2019
  • Meeting website: http://uraniumscience.org
  • Key-dates:
    • 19 October 2018:         Abstract deadline
    • 16 November 2018:     Notification of abstract acceptance 
    • 30 November 2018:     Registration deadline
    • 21-22 January 2019:    Uranium Science Conference


Conference: PiNE 2018 – Postdocs in Nuclear Engineering, Oxford 🗓 🗺

This event is not organised by the BWR Hub but is included here as it may be of interest to our readers.

This conference will take place in Oxford on the 6th-7th September 2018.

Organiser’s information:

The annual Postdocs in Nuclear Energy meeting (PiNE) will be hosted by the University of Oxford in 2018. PiNE offers the opportunity for post-doctoral or equivalent level researchers to get together in an informal environment, share their work and learn what else is going on in the nuclear research community. A range of speakers from the nuclear energy sector will give presentations and will be on hand to offer career advice and insights into the future of nuclear energy research in the UK.

Find out more at this event’s website.


Conference: MMM2018 – 9th International Conference on Multiscale Materials Modeling (MMM) 🗓 🗺

Although this event is not organised by the BWR Hub and Network it appears here as it may be of interest to our readers.


Organiser’s description:

The MMM conference is the world leading forum dedicated to the dissemination of the latest development in the field of multiscale materials modeling. The main theme of MMM2018 in Osaka is “Toward the next twenty years, opening new era in Multiscale Materials Modeling”.

Event announcement: SMR 2018 – Addressing Technical Lifecycle Challenges 🗺

This event is not organised by the BWR Hub but is included here as it may be of interest to our readers.


Organisers Description:

Supported by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre the Nuclear Institute’s SMR 2018 conference offers the first opportunity of the year to meet, discuss and refresh your knowledge on the latest developments regarding future UK deployment of Small Modular Reactors, and keep yourself updated on the technical lifecycle challenges, stay engaged and informed of the Government view on the next steps for a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) programme in the UK.  

  • Date: 20th February 2018
  • Location: AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre, Advanced Manufacturing Park , Rotherham, UK.
  • Learn more…

UK ABWR Completed GDA Assessment

Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor design approved for construction in the UK.

Horizon Nuclear Power plans to build two 1300MWe ABWRs at the Wylfa Newydd site on Anglesey by the mid-2020s; followed by two at Oldbury-Upon-Severn, South Gloucestershire.

The UK Advance Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) provided by Hitachi-GE has now completed the generic design assessment (GDA) – an assessment conducted by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales. GDA is a joint process undertaken by the ONR and the Environment Agency. The regulators get involved with nuclear reactor design companies at the earliest stage where they can have the most influence. The process focuses purely on the reactor design and does not consider any site specific issues. The regulators will only conduct GDA on a new power station design following a request from the government.

Hitachi-GE’s UK ABWR began the Generic Design Assessment in April 2013. The process has entailed detailed assessments and submissions across 20 topic workstreams.

The UK ABWR achieved a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) on the 14th December 2017. This means that the regulators are satisfied that the UK ABWR meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.

Each build will still require a site-specific licence. Horizon expects to obtain all necessary licences for Wylfa Newydd by the end of 2018.

The Design Acceptance Certificate (DAC) for the UK ABWR is signed by ONR’s Mark Foy (Image: Hitachi-GE)

ONR chief nuclear inspector Mark Foy commented: “The completion of the generic design assessment of the UK ABWR is a significant step in our regulation of the overall process to construct this type of reactor in the UK, ensuring that the generic design meets the highest standards of safety that we expect in this country. We’re already working on our assessment of Horizon’s site licence application and on the development of the site specific safety case to progress, in due course, the construction and operation of these reactors at Wylfa Newydd.”

Jo Nettleton, deputy director for radioactive substances and installations regulation at the Environment Agency, said: “We’ve concluded that the generic design of the UK ABWR should be capable of meeting the high standards of environmental protection and waste management that we require in the UK. We only came to this conclusion after carefully reviewing the submissions provided by GE-Hitachi and their responses to the questions and issues we raised. We’ve also carefully considered all the comments we received from people during our public consultation and we’re grateful for all who took part for taking time to respond.”

Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne welcomed the completion of GDA. He said, “This is a huge milestone for Horizon and a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK.” Hawthorne added, “It’s testament to the strength of the combined team, and the proven nature of the technology, that the GDA process has been completed and delivered on time.”

Tadashi Kume, president & representative director of Hitachi-GE, said: “Meeting the famously high standards of the UK regulators and completing GDA within our five year target further demonstrates the strength of this project, and capability of the team delivering it. GDA is a thorough and rigorous assessment, and receiving approval on schedule is a credit to the outstanding design of the UK ABWR.”

Bill Lee, Sêr Cymru Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Bangor University said: “This is really good news and emphasises the need for the UK in general, and N Wales in particular, to provide technical education and leading research into the Boiling Water Reactor since this is a new reactor design for the UK”.

The ABWR design has already received regulatory approvals in the USA and Japan. Four units have been built in Japan, and the ABWR is under construction at Shimane and Ohma sites in Japan.

How two UK ABWR units could appear at Wylfa Newydd (Image: Horizon)

Horizon Nuclear Power hopes to build two ABWR units at Wylfa Newydd site on the island of Anglesey in North Wales and start them up in around 2025. The units would be the first commercial boiling water reactors in the UK. Horizon estimates that around 60 per cent by value of the first reactor will be sourced in the UK, with more local input into later plant. Hitachi-GE has signed agreements with Rolls-Royce and Babcock International to plan and deliver the programme, and will establish an assembly facility for its modular construction technology in the UK.




Article Written by Professor Bill Lee


Event: Game Changers – Innovation in Condition Monitoring and Inspection 🗓 🗺

Although no organised by the BWR Hub and Network it is included here as it may be interesting to our readers.


Organiser’s description:

Game Changers, CENSIS and the National Physical Laboratory invite you to join us for the fourth and final challenge-led innovation event for 2017.

Innovation in Condition Monitoring and Inspection – Supporting Sellafield’s Nuclear Decommissioning Mission will take place on Wednesday 6th December at the Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow G1 1RD.


  • Date: 6th December 2017
  • Location: Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, 99 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RD
  • Learn more…

Conference: Women in Nuclear UK 2018 Conference 🗓 🗺

This event is not organised by the BWR Hub but is included here as it may be of interest to our readers.


Organiser’s description:

Building on the success of previous events ‘Power together to Create Change’ will look at how power shapes change how delegates can use their own power to create change within their working environments.

Each year more than 200 attendees have joined in the key discussions. This year, delegates will hear about panellists will explore the power of relationships, how to break the glass ceiling and how the power of your personality can really make an impact on people.

  • Date: 31st January 2018
  • Location: Church House, Dean’s Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ
  • Earlybird registration deadline: 30th November 2017
  • Learn more…


Conference: Nuclear Power Plant Life Management & Extension 2017 🗓 🗺

This event is not organised by the BWR Hub however it appears here as it may be of interest to our readers.


Organiser’s description:

ACI’s 3rd Nuclear Power Plant Life Management Extension 2017 will be taking place in Antwerp, Belgium, on 06th — 07th December 2017. The two day event will bring together key industry stakeholders from the energy and nuclear industry. This event is going to connect the elite of the industry together to gather and discuss the common issues facing the nuclear industry concerning Plant Life Management and Extension. This event is essential for industry personnel who are working in ageing reactors and need to gain information on how to manage their nuclear plant life effectively.


  • Dates: 6th-7th December 2017
  • Location: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Learn more…
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