I have today asked the UK’s independent nuclear regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, and the Environment Agency, to begin a Generic Design Assessment of the UK HPR1000 reactor.
This is the nuclear reactor design by China General Nuclear which General Nuclear Services (a subsidiary of Electricite de France SA and China General Nuclear) propose to use at a prospective new nuclear power station at Bradwell in Essex.
In September the Secretary of State confirmed that the Government had decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation at Hinkley Point C. This will see the start of a new nuclear programme that will help provide the energy security we require as we move to a low carbon energy future.
The investment by General Nuclear Services (GNS) in committing the resources required for the UK HPR1000 reactor (Hualong Reactor) to go through the Generic Design Assessment underlines the fact that international companies continue to view investment in the UK’s low-carbon energy future positively.
The Government welcomes such investment. The nuclear industry in the UK is subject to a stringent regulatory regime to ensure safety, security and mitigation of any potential environmental detriment. Generic Design Assessment is now an established feature of the regulatory regime and is a respected process for rigorous and transparent nuclear regulation. I am therefore pleased to be asking the regulators to begin to assess the UK HPR1000 reactor through GDA.
As with previous such assessments, the full cost of the GDA will be charged to the Requesting Party (in this case GNS) which submits the design for assessment. This process is independent of any final agreement to commission a reactor of the relevant type.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: