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British regulators to evaluate Hitachi nuclear reactor design

17 Jan 2013

UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency announced that they have received a formal request from the Energy Minister John Hayes to start a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR).


Horizon Nuclear Power intends to use the new nuclear reactor design by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy at the new nuclear power plants proposed to be constructed at Wylfa in Anglesey, and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

The regulators noted that they will now start the preparatory work with Hitachi-GE and the Department of Energy and Climate Change about the timescales and resources involved in assessing the new design.

The regulators said they have a received a formal request from the Energy Minister John Hayes to start GDA work on a new nuclear reactor for the UK.

UK Energy Minister John Hayes stated, "Generic Design Assessment is now an established feature of our regulatory regime, and, as I told the House in December after the completion of the GDA process for the AREVA European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR), it has shown itself to be an excellent process for rigorous and transparent nuclear regulation."

Hayes remarked that the British government welcomes all such investment, referring to Hitachi's purchase of Horizon Nuclear Power in October 2012.

"However, the nuclear industry in the UK is rightly subject to a regulatory regime to ensure safety, security and mitigation of any potential environmental detriment," Hayes added.

In December 2012, the regulators had concluded a generic design assessment for the UK EPR nuclear reactor by French nuclear company Areva and British energy supplier EDF Energy.