China is to submit its domestically designed Hualong One nuclear reactor to UK regulators for a generic design assessment (GDA). China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) will send the design of the reactor to the regulators and hopes it will be approved within five years, it said in a statement on 29 September. CGN plans to build two Hualong One reactors, each with output capacity of 1,150MWe, at the proposed Bradwell B NPP in southern England, where CGN will hold a 66.5 percent interest. The reactors are part of a broader nuclear development deal first announced in October between CGN, France’s Electricite de France and the UK government, which also includes the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C NPPs. CGN has a 33.5% stake in Hinkley.

“It’s a landmark event for CGN and for China’s homemade Hualong One technology,” Yan Shi, a Shanghai-based analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Holdings Ltd, told Bloomberg. “The UK has one of the most rigid, if not the most rigid, nuclear power technology review regimes in the world, and passing that could pave the way for CGN to export Hualong One to almost any market.”

CGN has partnered with China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) to export the Hualong One technology, and China plans to export about 30 units by 2030, CNNC Chairman Sun Qin said in March. CGN signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenyan government in September 2015 to build a Hualong One reactor, and CNNC has projects in Argentina and Pakistan. Four Hualong One reactors are currently under construction in China.

“The UK government has said repeatedly that the country welcomes Hualong One technology, and the UK’s review board is totally independent and will use international standards and procedures for the review,” Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the U.K., said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website. “I hope the review will be smooth and that Hualong One will land in the country as early as possible.”

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation has the expertise and resources it needs should it receive a request from government to assess China's Hualong One reactor design, its chief nuclear inspector, Richard Savage, said on 27 September. ONR CEO Adriènne Kelbie, told World Nuclear News that she sees no need for wholesale change at the organisation and that recruitment of inspectors and other staff is on target.