The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has started a 12-week consultation on the application for Regulatory Justification of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK-ABWR), designed by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.

Both the UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) – which submitted the application for Regulatory Justification – and project developer Horizon Nuclear Power welcomed the start of the consultation.

The Regulatory Justification process is a legal requirement for new nuclear technology and is designed to ensure that the benefits to society of the UK ABWR outweigh any potential radiological health detriments. The process is required to meet the European Union’s Basic Safety Standards Directive.

"As with our Justification application in 2008 for the AP1000 and EPR reactors, this application concludes that the significant security of supply and carbon reduction benefits of the UK ABWR, outweighs the limited potential for any radiological health detriments," NIA said.

Horizon is proposing to build ABWR reactors at its Wylfa Newydd site on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales and also at Oldbury in South Gloucestershire.

The UK ABWR design entered phase II of the UK generic design assessment process earlier this year. However, a number of other regulatory, licensing and planning consents would still be required before construction of any new nuclear power station could being.

NIA’s application for Regulatory Justification and the consultation documents are available on the DECC website.
The consultation closes on 13 May 2014.

Photo: ABWR cut-away