Regulators complete UK HPR1000 design assessment

10 February 2022

Cutaway of HPR1000 (Photo credit: CGN)The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency have confirmed that the UK Hualong Pressurised Water Reactor (UK HPR1000) is suitable for construction in the UK, subject to the necessary licensing, planning permission and environmental permits. The annoucement follows completion of their in-depth assessment of the nuclear reactor design.

The UK HPR1000 is based on the Hualong One power plant, designed by China General Nuclear Group (CGN).

The ONR and the Environment Agency, the regulators who carry out the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of new reactor designs, are satisfied that the reactor meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.

ONR has issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and the Environment Agency has issued a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) to China General Nuclear, EDF and General Nuclear International Ltd, the partners in this GDA of the UK HPR1000.

Mark Foy, ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector, said: “The UK HPR1000 design has been assessed against the high levels of safety and security expected in the UK, and issuing the Design Acceptance Confirmation – after rigorous and detailed assessments undertaken by a wide range of my specialist inspectors – means we consider the UK HPR1000 design is suitable for deployment in the UK.” 

Saffron Price Finnerty, Nuclear Regulation Manager at the Environment Agency said: “At the Environment Agency we’re responding to the climate emergency as a priority, as we set out in our plan EA2025 – Creating a Better Place. De-carbonising energy supplies is a key objective for the UK and nuclear power is an important part of Government’s energy policy to deliver a net zero future. The Environment Agency’s role in this, through our regulation and the advice we provide, is ensuring that new nuclear power stations will meet high standards of environmental protection and waste management, and that communities and the environment are properly protected.”

She added: “We’ve completed a rigorous assessment of the UK HPR1000 and concluded that it is capable of meeting those high standards that we expect. This is why we are issuing a Statement of Design Acceptability for the UK HPR1000 to the partners in this design, China General Nuclear, EDF and General Nuclear International Ltd. It is a credit to the hard work of all the people involved in this assessment, in the UK, China and France, that this work programme has been completed on a time that was proposed in January 2017.”

Photo: Cutaway of the HPR1000 (credit: CGN)

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