UK regulators approve new nuclear reactor design

A new design for a nuclear reactor has been approved by regulators in the UK. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and Natural Resource Wales, confirmed the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A new design for a nuclear reactor has been approved by regulators in the UK.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and Natural Resource Wales, confirmed the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) designed by Hitachi-GE is suitable for construction.

They are satisfied the reactor meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection under the Generic Design Assessment stage of the regulatory process.

Horizon Nuclear Power is proposing to build and operate two of these reactors in Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey in Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn near Thornbury in South Gloucestershire.

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 cast to progress, in due course, the construction and operation of these reactors at Wylfa Newydd.”

The government recently launched a consultation on the process and criteria for designating potentially suitable sites for new nuclear post 2025.