The Nuclear Companies

EDF Energy bought British Energy to gain access to sites for nuclear new build. It subsequently sold a 20% stake to Centrica, better known to the public as Scottish Gas or British Gas. They aim to build new nuclear at Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Heysham, Hartlepool, and Bradwell.

German RWE, in Britain better known as RWE npower, bought sites at Kirksanton and Braystones in Cumbria for new nuclear. In addi­tion, RWE formed a joint-venture with another German utility com­pany, E.on, under the name Horizon Nuclear Power, to develop nuclear power at Wylfa and Oldbury.

Spanish Iberdrola, which bought Scottish Power in 2007, formed a joint venture with French GDF Suez and Scottish and Southern Energy (trading as SWALEC, Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro Electric and Atlantic Electric and Gas) to build a new nuclear power station at Sella­field.

Two reactor designs are presently on the table. Areva's EPR and Westinghouse's AP1000.

Sheffield Forgemasters has recently been in the media, because it recei­ved an 80million loan from the go­vern­ment to enable it to install the UK’s first 15,000 tonne forging press, making it one of only five companies worldwide capable of producing safety critical forgings for nuclear power reactors.