The joint regulators have today announced the commencement of Step 3 of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for the UK HPR1000 nuclear technology, the French utility EDF said before the holiday.
The regulatory milestone " marks the start of the third step in a four step robust and independent process to seek approval for the design," the company announced.
It follows a year of intensive work by teams in the UK, China and France, during which time the UK public has had the opportunity to comment on the design details shared during Step 2.
Step 3 will move to deeper analysis of the design of the UK HPR1000 nuclear technology, and will continue to be open to public comment.
The successful progression of the GDA process follows the announcement by CGN in May that the UKHPR1000 reference plant in Fangchenggang in Guangxi Province, China, had successfully completed the dome lift, an important point in the construction phase of a nuclear power plant. With the dome in place the project team has begun equipment installation.
The GDA progression is also a key step for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell in Essex. The proposed Bradwell project is in an early pre-planning stage which will involve years of investigative works and public consultations before detailed proposals are produced allowing a planning application to be made. The UK version of the HPR1000 reactor is intended to be built at Bradwell following GDA approval.
Zhu Minhong, Managing Director of GNS, said: “This is an important milestone for the GDA project, involving many thousands of hours of engineering work, and is a great demonstration of the effectiveness of the CGN and EDF joint venture in the UK..”
CGN and EDF submitted a joint application through their joint venture company GNS (General Nuclear System Ltd) to BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) in October 2016 to begin the GDA process for a UK version of the HPR1000 nuclear technology.
The UK's joint regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency provide rigorous, independent scrutiny of the plans. All nuclear operators in the UK must work within this strict regulatory framework, and all reactor designs satisfy the safety, security and environmental requirements of the Generic Design Assessment process.
The GDA process for the UKHPR1000 will take a number of years to complete, culminating, if successful, in a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) from the ONR and EA respectively.
There are a number of different consents and permissions to be achieved before a nuclear power station can be constructed. As well as successful completion of the GDA process, other requirements include development consent, site licensing and environmental permits.
CGN and EDF have formed an industrial partnership in the UK to build Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset and to develop Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex.
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