The UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), designed by Hitachi-GE, is suitable for construction in the UK, the regulators confirmed today following completion of an in-depth assessment of the nuclear reactor design.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, the regulators who undertake the Generic Design Assessment of new reactor designs, are satisfied that this reactor meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.
ONR has issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and the environment agencies have issued a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) to Hitachi-GE.
Horizon Nuclear Power is proposing to build and operate two of these reactors in Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn near Thornbury in South Gloucestershire.
Dr Jo Nettleton, Deputy Director for Radioactive Substances and Installations Regulation at the Environment Agency said:
We’ve concluded that the generic design of the UK ABWR should be capable of meeting the high standards of environment protection and waste management that we require in the UK. We only came to this conclusion after carefully reviewing the submissions provided by Hitachi-GE and their responses to the questions and issues we raised. We’ve also carefully considered all the comments we received from people during our public consultation and we’re grateful for all who took part for taking time to respond.
Mark Foy, ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector said:
The completion of the generic design assessment of the UK ABWR is a significant step in our regulation of the overall process to construct this type of reactor in the UK, ensuring that the generic design meets the highest standards of safety that we expect in this country. We’re already working on our assessment of Horizon’s site licence application and on the development of the site specific safety case to progress, in due course, the construction and operation of these reactors at Wylfa Newydd.
Tim Jones, Natural Resources Wales’s Executive Director for North and Mid Wales, said:
It is our job to ensure that any new nuclear power station will meet high standards of environmental protection and waste management, ensuring that our communities and environment are kept safe.
Following a public consultation on our initial findings, we have concluded that the UK ABWR design is acceptable. We will now work on the detailed assessments of the permits, licences and consents that Horizon Nuclear Power will need to have in place to build Wylfa Newydd.
The regulators have documented progress of each stage of their assessment through a series of reports.
Notes to editors
The regulators began assessment of Hitachi-GE’s UK ABWR in 2013.
- Generic Design Assessment (GDA) is a joint process between the Office for Nuclear (ONR) Regulation, Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
- The Office for Nuclear Regulation is the nuclear safety and security regulator for the UK.
- The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales are the environmental regulators of nuclear sites in England and Wales respectively.
- Information on Generic Design Assessment on the joint regulators’ website
- All assessment reports, decision documents and a copy of the Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) are available online.
Office for Nuclear Regulation
Natural Resources Wales
- The DAC and SoDA are valid for a period of ten years from issue and can be extended subject to review and agreement of the regulators. The Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) is being issued jointly by the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales. GDA applies to both England and Wales.
- The issuing of a DAC and SoDA does not mean that construction of a new nuclear power station can start. In addition to GDA the operator (Horizon Nuclear Power in this case) must obtain a nuclear site licence and relevant consents from ONR, environmental permits from the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales and planning permission (Development Consent Order) from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Secretary of State. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-operators-of-new-nuclear-power-stations
- Horizon Nuclear Power submitted an application for a Nuclear Site Licence to build and construct a UK ABWR power station at Wylfa Newydd to ONR in March 2017. ONR is in the process of assessing the application.
- Horizon Nuclear Power submitted an application to NRW for a Radioactive Substances Regulation environmental permit in November 2017.
- For more information, please contact the ONR press office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3028 0505.
- For the Environment Agency media team contact email@example.com or 020 3025 5623