NuGeneration has appointed two planning consultants for its proposals to build a new nuclear power station on land near to Sellafield in West Cumbria.
Arup will work as lead planning consultant and GL Hearn as strategic planning advisors to NuGeneration, a consortium comprising of energy firms GDF Suez, Scottish & Southern Energy and Iberdrola.
The appointment follows the completion of a competitive tender process and was announced by Olivier Carret, chief operating director, at the New Nuclear Build Conference in London in front of an audience of around 500 people.
Alfio Vidal, chief nuclear director of NuGen, said: "Both Arup and GL Hearn were selected because of their extensive experience in this area. They will now work closely with NuGen on reviewing the scope of site investigations and ensuring all required consents and licenses are granted in a timely manner. They will also assist with the development of a local engagement plan to ensure the proposed activities on and around the site are communicated appropriately.
"We recognise the wealth of expertise that already exists in the area and we are committed to working in partnership with the local community to harness local knowledge and skills during the planning process. We envisage that there will be many opportunities for working together through informal regular updates and more formal consultation as required by planning regulations and we will communicate more on this as soon as we can."
The planning phase of the NuGeneration project begins with immediate effect and is expected to last until 2015 when the developer will make its final investment decision. The commercial operation date of a new nuclear power station is currently scheduled in 2023.
Sellafield was one of eight sites in England and Wales the Government announced as being potentially suitable for building new nuclear power stations.
NuGeneration bought the site from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2009 after the NDA nominated Sellafield to the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
A site in Heysham, Lancashire, nominated by EDF Energy, and the Wylfa power station in Anglesey, North Wales, being developed by Horizon Nuclear Power, were also amongst the eight sites being considered.