UK regulators approve Westinghouse nuclear reactor

A reactor designed by Toshiba’s nuclear unit has been approved by UK regulators. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency (EA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said they […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A reactor designed by Toshiba’s nuclear unit has been approved by UK regulators.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency (EA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said they are satisfied the reactor meets expectations on safety, security and environmental protection.

The approval is needed before Westinghouse can use the reactor at NuGeneration’s (NuGen) Moorside new nuclear project in north west England.

The news comes after Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy in the US.

ONR has issued a Design Acceptance Certificate to Westinghouse and the environment agencies have issued a Statement of Design Acceptability.

Dr Richard Savage, ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector said: “The closure of our assessment of the generic design of the AP1000® reactor is a significant step in the process, ensuring the design meets the very high standards of safety we expect.

“We will not focus our regulatory attention on site specific assessments and NuGen’s application for a nuclear site licence.”

José Emeterio Gutiérrez, Interim President and CEO at Westinghouse said the successful completion of the rigorous review “has been many years in the making”.

He added: “It represents a major milestone towards bringing a new generation of safe, clean energy to the United Kingdom through the Moorside Project.

“In addition, it expands the global regulatory prdigree of the AP1000® plant design and further confirms Westinghouse’s innovative safety technology.”

Today EDF announced concrete has been poured for the first permanent structures at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.