GE Hitachi and Iberdrola Collaborate on UK PRISM Project

Posted on July 21, 2014

Agreement Marks Major Milestone in Evolution of Program… Combines GEH’s PRISM technology and Iberdrola’s Plant Operations and Power Generation Experience

LONDON – July 21, 2014 – GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Iberdrola Generación Nuclear S.A. today announced an agreement to cooperate towards advancing GEH’s PRISM technology as a credible long-term solution for the disposition of the UK’s plutonium stockpile.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the companies allows the proposal for UK deployment of PRISM – which could potentially disposition the UK’s Plutonium stockpile swiftly and economically, whilst creating significant investment in UK jobs and skills – to be further advanced.

“Iberdrola’s experience and expertise in plant operations and power generation coupled with GE Hitachi’s advanced technology is a powerful combination that we believe will further strengthen PRISM’s position as the best solution for plutonium re-use in the UK,” said Jay Wileman, GEH Senior Vice President.

Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest energy utilities, owns and operates nuclear power plants with a combined output of 3 GW and has established experience in developing nuclear energy projects in the UK. GEH, a global nuclear alliance of GE and Hitachi, is a leading provider of advanced reactor technology and nuclear services.

The MOU builds on long-standing partnerships between Iberdrola and GEH (and its predecessor GE Nuclear) in the development and deployment of nuclear projects including the Cofrentes and Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plants in Spain.

“PRISM is an extremely exciting technology, which draws on decades of experience to provide a solution to one of the UK’s most pressing legacy challenges,” said Alfio Vidal, Director, Iberdrola Nuclear Generation UK. “We are delighted to be working with GEH. Our extensive expertise in nuclear operations places us in the ideal position to work together with them in bringing PRISM forward for deployment in the UK. This will not only deliver a viable technology solution for plutonium re-use, it could drive extensive investment in skills and further establish the UK, and West Cumbria, as a global-hub of nuclear expertise.”

  • Through the MOU, Iberdrola and GEH will discuss the potential roles and business arrangements focusing on each other’s core strengths and capabilities in further developing the PRISM proposal for plutonium disposition in the UK.
  • 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. We continue to work with the NDA on a number of technical and commercial activities to further develop our shared understanding and refine GEH’s commercial proposal to deploy the PRISM technology as a lifecycle solution for the stockpile.
  • The UK is currently storing over 100 tonnes of plutonium at the Sellafield site in West Cumbria and this is expected to grow to around 140 tonnes.
  • PRISM is a high energy neutron (fast) reactor design which uses a series of proven, safe and mature technologies to provide an innovative solution to disposition plutonium stockpiles and harness the remaining energy potential of used nuclear fuel and surplus plutonium.
  • GE and Hitachi have a legacy of building nuclear plants safely for more than 50 years. Our record of innovation in generating clean energy by using proven technologies has been unsurpassed.

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a part of a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.

About Iberdrola

IBERDROLA is a private sector company with over 150-year experience dedicated to energy generation, security of supply, quality and innovation. Since embarking on its growth and international expansion plan in 2001, Iberdrola has become one of the five largest European energy utilities by market capitalization, with a workforce of around 30,600 employees and nearly 32 million customers worldwide.

For more information contact:

Jon Allen
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
+1 910-819-2581

Harry Spencer
Edelman Public Relations
+44 (0)20 3047 2138

Looking For More Information About PRISM?

This site is focused on PRISM's potential application in the UK. To learn more about PRISM’s capabilities and its selection for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Versatile Test Reactor project please click here.