Regulators approve China’s nuclear reactor design for use in the UK

They said the UK Hualong Pressurised Water Reactor – UK HPR1000 – can be built in the UK, following an application for a version of the reactor design proposed to be built at Bradwell B in Essex

Big Zero Report 2022

Regulators in the UK have confirmed a nuclear reactor design from China is suitable for use in the country.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency are satisfied the UK Hualong Pressurised Water Reactor (UK HPR1000) – based on the Hualong One power plant, designed by China General Nuclear Group (CGN) – meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the process.

The nuclear reactor can be built in the UK, subject to the necessary licensing, planning permission and environmental permits, following completion of their in-depth assessment of the nuclear reactor design.

It follows EDF Energy and CGN’s application submission through their joint venture General Nuclear System (GNS) to the government for a UK version of the HPR1000 reactor design, which is proposed to be built at Bradwell B in Essex.

If granted permission, two reactor units would generate enough electricity to power more than four million homes in the UK.

ONR has issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and the Environment Agency has issued a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) to CGN, EDF and General Nuclear International Ltd, the partners in this Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the UK HPR1000.

Saffron Price Finnerty, Nuclear Regulation Manager at the Environment Agency said: “At the Environment Agency we are responding to the climate emergency as a priority, as we set out in our plan EA2025 – Creating a Better Place. Decarbonising energy supplies is a key objective for the UK and nuclear power is an important part of government’s energy policy to deliver a net zero future.

“The Environment Agency’s role in this, through our regulation and the advice we provide, is ensuring that new nuclear power stations will meet high standards of environmental protection and waste management and that communities and the environment are properly protected.

“We have completed a rigorous assessment of the UK HPR1000 and concluded that it is capable of meeting those high standards that we expect.”

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