OT:Hitachi-GE ABWR design cleared for use in UK

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Hitachi-GE-ABWR-design-cleared-for-use-in-UK-1412174.html
"Hitachi-GE's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) is suitable for construction in the UK, regulators have concluded following an in-depth Generic Design Assessment (GDA). The regulators said they were satisfied the reactor "meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process". Wylfa Newydd CGI - 460 (Horizon) How two UK ABWR units could appear at Wylfa Newydd (Image: Horizon)
The GDA is a voluntary process for reactor vendors that applies to England and Wales, and is a policy rather than law, but it is a British government expectation for all new build projects. A reactor vendor, or the 'requesting party', has completed the GDA process when it receives a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) from the nuclear regulator and a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) from environmental regulators.
Hitachi's UK ABWR began the Generic Design Assessment process for its UK subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power in April 2013. The process has entailed detailed assessments and submissions across 20 topic workstreams.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation announced today that it has now issued a DAC to Hitachi-GE, while the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales have issued a SoDA to the company.
The ONR's chief nuclear inspector, Mark Foy, 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."
He added, "We are 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."
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 environmental protection and waste management that we require in the UK. We only came to this conclusion after carefully reviewing the submissions provided by GE-Hitachi 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."
The ABWR design is already licensed in Japan and the USA. Four units have been built in Japan, and two are currently under construction on Taiwan. Horizon Nuclear Power hopes to build two ABWR units at Wylfa Newydd site on the island of Anglesey in north Wales and start them up in around 2025. The units would be the first commercial boiling water reactors in the UK. Horizon also plans two UK ABWR units for its site in Oldbury, Gloucestershire.
Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne welcomed the completion of GDA. He said, "This is a huge milestone for Horizon and a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK." Hawthorne added, "It's testament to the strength of the combined team, and the proven nature of the technology, that the GDA process has been completed and delivered on time."
The first reactor design to receive a DAC and SoDA was Areva's European Pressurised Reactor in December 2012. This was followed by the Westinghouse AP1000 in March 2017. The Hualong One design that General Nuclear Services - a subsidiary of EDF and China General Nuclear - proposes to use at Bradwell began the GDA process in January.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News
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On 14/12/2017 16:42, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Limping slowly into the future.
In 1966, the UK had 4 GW installed nuclear generating capacity, twice as much as the USA, five times as much as France, ten times as much as the USSR. We had generated in total three times as many units as the USA, and five times as much as France. Almost twice as much as the whole of the rest of the western world.
Source, by the look of the format, is probably Nuclear Engineering International although the page I am looking at is from a commercial report.
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It does all seem to be mega beaurocratic to me. I'd have thought that if something is safe in a trusted other country, a simple site visit would be all that was needed. In any case why is it that as one of the original founders of Nuclear power generation the UK did not follow through and take advantage and it could now be selling reactors rather than buying them?
I wonder if anyone has factored in the ease or otherwise of de-commissioning them at end of life or are we once again guilty of leaving that issue to the next generation after us. Brian
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On 15/12/2017 09:26, Brian Gaff wrote:

It's not that simple. For instance UK rules require control systems and safety systems to be totally separate. The control system controls and the safety system normally does nothing at all. Only if the control system fails and something goes out of bounds does the safety system do something. An example would be a pump turning on and filling a tank when the level gets down to a low level switch and switching off at the high level. There are normally extra switches low low and high high that raise an alarm (and stop the pump on high high). Those generate alarms and, and trigger control routines to allow for switch failure and are still connected to the control system for operation.
A separate high high high feeds directly to the safety system, which can override the control system, so even if the "computer" controlling the system fails, the safety system will keep it safe. The safety system can feed a signal back to the control system, to let it know what it has done so that it can take additional actions, but the control system cannot influence the safety system at all.
French rules allow a different set up, where the control and safety systems are more combined and a single switch may have both control and safety functions. Done properly, this can be just as safe, but it is far harder to prove that it provides the required safety and that it will be maintained as things are changed over decades. Unintentional degradation by modification is more likely.
There are likely some similar mechanical safety feature differences too.
This means that we cannot just copy and entire French design, but must redesign parts of it to fit our safety culture.

Anti-nuclear campaigns of the '70s and 80's which stopped further builds and successive governments who were scared to break the taboo. This lead to no investment in training in the field and a lack of experience, so that we no longer have the ability to do our own designs at sensible cost - although we could do so given enough time and money to re-research and train.

For many years new designs have had ease of de-commissioning considered at the design stage. The problems of the existing designs were down to a rush to design and build, without consideration for the future, because governments were more concerned with producing materials for nuclear weapons and power production was a 2nd consideration.
SteveW
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You may well ask.
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Same reason you lot were one of the earliest to make cars, but fuck all were interested in your cars later. Can't imagine why for the life of me.
Same with ships, planes, TVs, computers etc etc etc too.
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What's the score with Thorium reactors ?
ISTR the UK was one of the world leaders. Once.
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I think the Indians are actively pursuing research into practical ones.
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On 15/12/2017 18:54, Tim Streater wrote:

Correct.
We would certainly have looked at the theory, AFAIK we never tried to build one (certainly not on any scale).
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On 15/12/17 19:27, newshound wrote:

however these are not pure thorium recators. They are using thorium in breeders to minimise uranbium usage as India ha little or no uranium, but lots of thorium

The thorium fuel cycle is nasty. And produces nothing very useful for bombs.
Uranium technology was 'good enough' and more understood.
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On 16/12/17 07:50, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Aprops 'more nuclear' check this out - use reactor waste heat to warm your city!
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Finnish-cities-consider-SMRs-for-district-heating-1512175.html
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On 16/12/2017 08:00, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

The Finnish nuclear industry is technically pretty sound, they are not just Nokia and rally drivers.
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