France's EDF opens nuclear design centre in Britain

FILE PHOTO: A view shows France's oldest Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power plant near the eastern French village of Fessenheim, France February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - France's EDF EDF.PA has opened a nuclear design centre in Britain to help support construction of its new power plants in the country, the company said on Wednesday.

The 21.5-22.5 billion pounds ($27-28 billion) Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, which EDF is building with China’s CGN [IPO-CGNP.HK], in the south of England is expected to begin generating power by the end of 2025.

It will be capable of generating around 7% of Britain’s electricity demand.

EDF said the UK EPR Design Centre in Bristol, in the south west of England, will bring together several engineering firms involved in the nuclear industry including Atkins and Framatome UK.

“Led by EDF, around 700 people from different companies from the UK and abroad will be employed there by 2021,” EDF said in a statement.

EDF said the centre would lead to an additional 300 jobs in the Bristol region to support the design and construction of its new EPR reactors in Britain.

EDF also hopes to use its EPR nuclear reactor design at another project, Sizewell C, in Suffolk on England’s east coast.

($1 = 0.7938 pounds)

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Christopher Cushing