"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
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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