The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, working closely with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, are assessing the acceptability of new nuclear power station designs in a process called Generic Design Assessment (GDA).
This process helps ensure that any new nuclear power stations built in the UK meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. It also helps enable developers to avoid potential cost and time delays during construction arising from late identification of modifications to meet UK requirements.
The consultation, launched today, looks at Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) design which the company submitted for assessment in April 2014.
Horizon Nuclear Power propose to build and operate this design at Wylfa Newydd on the Isle of Anglesey and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire.
The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales have found that the majority of the environmental aspects of the design would be acceptable and have included a draft ‘interim Statement of Design Acceptability’ (iSoDA) with the consultation documents.
However, at this stage of the detailed assessment they have identified some areas where more work is required to resolve on-going issues before they would consider issuing a full Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) for Hitachi-GE’s UK ABWR.
The regulators are confident that the issues are capable of being resolved to their satisfaction by Hitachi-GE within its existing target timescale of completing GDA by December 2017.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks until 3 March 2017.
Saffron Price Walter, GDA manager at the Environment Agency said:
It is our job to ensure that any new nuclear power station will meet high standards of environmental protection and waste management.
This consultation sets out our findings so far and identifies where we require further work to be carried out by Hitachi-GE. After consultation we’ll carefully consider all the consultation responses we receive, complete our detailed assessment and make our decision about the acceptability of the UK ABWR design.