Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AP1000 reactor Generic Design Assessment

24 November, 2016

We are aware of the Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy report on ‘The AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design’ commissioned by Radiation Free Lakeland.

Westinghouse is in the closure phase of the nuclear regulators’ Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process, which is due to complete in March 2017. This is the first detailed technical assessment phase in the regulation of new reactors proposed for construction on GB nuclear-licensed sites, and typically takes four to five years to complete. It is a robust, wide ranging and challenging process and part of one the most rigorous nuclear regulatory regimes anywhere in the world.

However, completing this process does not mean that a reactor design can be constructed immediately. It is only one part of the process. To operate a nuclear plant, a nuclear site licence and a number of further permits and regulatory ‘permissions’ are required to enable the start of construction and to progress to operations.

ONR published its assessment findings at the end of Step 4 of the AP1000 GDA in 2011. Westinghouse then paused the GDA process and re-entered in 2014. These issues must be resolved before ONR will consider issuing a Design Acceptance Confirmation and therefore allowing the GDA process to conclude.

Since 2014 we have published reports setting out the progress of the project and the technical issues; and the last one was issued in October 2016. These reports highlight progress of the AP1000 GDA in all technical areas.

We will publish the results and conclusions of our assessment at the end of March 2017, in a series of detailed regulatory assessment reports.

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