13 January 2021

Views sought for new nuclear power station design

The Environment Agency has launched a consultation into a new design for UK Nuclear Power Stations.

© Beatriz PĂ©rez Moya/Unsplash

The proposal is based on the UK Hualong Pressurised Water Reactor (UK HPR1000), designed by the China Nuclear Group.

General Nuclear System Limited, acting for China General Nuclear Group and EDF SA, began submitting the UK HPR1000 design to both the Environment Agency and ONR for Generic Design Assessment (GDA) – the EA’s acceptability process for new power stations – in September 2017.

Bradwell Power Generation Limited, a joint subsidiary of China Nuclear Group and EDF, is proposing to construct and operate a nuclear power station using twin UK HPR1000s at its site near the existing Magnox power station location at Bradwell, UK.

The design consultation includes findings from the EA's current assessment so far, which has identified six potential issues and 40 assessment findings. 'We expect that General Nuclear System Limited will continue to work to resolve them over the next year or so of the GDA process,' revealed Alan McGoff, New Reactors Programme Manager at the Environment Agency.

The issues identified include how operational experience is used to inform and improve the design, ensuring co-ordination of response to safety and environment protection assessments, optimisation of design of high efficiency particulate air filters and confirming that higher activity radioactive wastes created during operation and decommissioning will be capable of being disposed of.

The company would need to obtain all relevant permissions before the development could proceed.

'Our aim is to complete our detailed assessment of the design in early 2022,' McGoff added.

The consultation is now live here and will run until Sunday 4 April 2021.