Horizon Nuclear Power has completed the 'regulatory justification' portion of the approval process for the UK ABWR.
Hitachi-owned Horizon said the regulatory justification is the first of the major permissions to be put in place as the company progresses its plans to build new nuclear power stations at two sites (Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury) in the UK.
"This is a major milestone in our journey to bring forward new secure, low carbon and affordable electricity for the UK and clearly highlights the strengths of our chosen technology," said Alan Raymant, chief operating officer at Horizon.
Completion of the regulatory justification followed two rounds of public consultation and required authorization by the secretary of state for energy and climate change and both houses of UK parliament.
The justification process was based on an application made by the UK Nuclear Industry Association, supported by Horizon and Hitachi-GE, which set out a high-level assessment of the benefits of the UK ABWR design against any potential disadvantages. It is a legal process required to meet the European Union's Basic Safety Standards Directive.
The Nuclear Industry Association welcomed the justification of the UK ABWR technology. "This is a positive step in securing the UK's long-term electricity supply and carbon reduction targets," said Keith Parker, chief executive of the NIA.
However NIA noted that the justification process is generic and that any site specific new build projects for the UK ABWR will require full regulatory approvals including those relating to safety, environmental and planning consents before they can go ahead.