Nuclear regulator moves to final step of design assessment for the plants’ advanced boiling water reactor


Two nuclear power plants in South Gloucestershire and Wales are a step closer to going ahead after the nuclear regulator said it will move to the final step of the design assessment for the plants’ reactors.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said it has completed step three of the generic design assessment (GDA) for ultimate client Hitachi-GE’s advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR), which will be used in the Wylfa Newydd power plant in Anglesey and Oldbury plant near Oldbury-on-Severn.

The two power plants will be developed by Horizon Nuclear Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi-GE.

The ONR said it has concluded that sufficient progress has been made by Hitachi-GE to move into the final assessment stage, which Hitachi-GE expects to complete in December 2017.

It added that the next milestone in the GDA process will be the start of the Environment Agency’s and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) consultation on the environmental part of the assessment, planned to start in October 2016.

General manager for licensing at Hitachi Europe for Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ken Sato, said: “Progression to Step 4 in around two and a half years is a sign of the strong progress we have made.

“We are delighted that ONR has progressed to their final step, and that we are on schedule to complete GDA by the end of 2017.

“GDA is rightly a thorough and rigorous assessment - challenging scrutiny from the regulators is to be expected and welcomed. This will continue through Step 4, and we remain focused on providing detailed submissions, and addressing the regulators’ questions.”