Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Official start of generic design assessment on new reactor

9 April, 2013

ONR and the Environment Agency have signed various agreements to enable the start of their assessment of a new nuclear reactor for the UK – the UK Advanced Boiling Water reactor (ABWR) of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Limited.  

In January, the Minister of State for Energy asked the regulators to undertake a generic design assessment  (GDA) of Hitachi-GE’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor.

All parties have now signed a formal charging agreement and regulatory nuclear interface protocol. These documents make clear that all costs for assessing the design will be charged to Hitachi-GE and will ensure formal arrangements for engagement. The next step is for Hitachi-GE to submit documentation for assessment, which we are expecting to receive in autumn 2013.

ONR and the Environment Agency will now begin formal preparatory work with Hitachi-GE about the timescales and resources involved in assessing this new design. 

In December, the regulators concluded a generic design assessment for the (EDF and Areva) UK EPR nuclear reactor, a process which secured safety enhancements to the original design. This experience shows that we have an appropriate model in place to carry out such work, but we also recognise that the ABWR design is different and will present its own unique challenges.

Read more about the generic design assessment process.

Find out more about Hitachi-GE.