The approval process for EDF’s planned Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors is three months behind schedule
The approval process for EDF’s planned Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors is three months behind schedule because the firm has failed to get information to the nuclear regulator in time.
A safety assessment of the overall design of the planned project, called a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) is required before the firm will be allowed to build its two planned nuclear reactors at the Somerset site. The GDA is undertaken by the Office for Nuclear Regulation(ONR).
But the ONR has now said that EDF and its reactor design partner French firm Areva have not supplied all information for the GDA on time “or did not provide the required quality of arguments or evidence” resulting in slippage of the timetable for completion.
The ONR said EDF and Areva had been forced to deploy resources on assessing the impact of the Fukushima disaster on its plans and attempting to align the GDA process and its Hinkley Point C plans.
The completion of the GDA had been scheduled for November this year, before EDF was due to make its final decision on whether to press ahead with investment in the power plant.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, managing director of nuclear new build at EDF, said: “We believe it is vital to achieve regulatory acceptance of the design before construction begins and the GDA is a valuable process which will allow us to do this.
“There remains, however, a lot more work to do. So we’ve provided additional management focus and resource to the project”
He added: “We are confident that the GDA process that the joint regulators have outlined will support our overall project timeline for the construction of Hinkley Point C, enabling the provision of clean, secure and affordable electricity for the UK when the country needs it.”