Office for Nuclear Regulation

Hinkley Point C project update

25 January, 2024

We note the recent announcement by EDF updating stakeholders on cost and schedule increases to the Hinkley Point C project, with reference to adaptions of the European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) design to meet British regulations.

EDF achieved a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) design acceptance confirmation (DAC) from ONR in 2012 for the EPR reactors proposed for construction in the UK.

The reference reactor design was based on the Flamanville 3 reactor and, in 2012, there were a small number of significant design modifications proposed to adapt to UK regulations*, informed by international good practice.

During the following decade, further changes were proposed and included due to the Fukushima incident, international expectations and the experience from the EPR projects in Taishan, Flamanville and Olkiluoto.

In relation to the volume of additional steel and concrete required at Hinkley Point C, we do not recognise our regulatory requirements as being the principal factor in these increases, as they are broadly similar to the requirements in France.

We acknowledge the benefits of replicating in-country reactor design and support Sizewell C in its intention to replicate the Hinkley Point C design. This not only ensures cost and schedule predictability and efficiency, but also has safety and security benefits.

We continue to focus on ensuring that our regulation remains effective and proportionate while continually striving to streamline our processes. We are working collaboratively with international regulators to realise efficiencies in reactor design assessment and reduce regulatory burden where we can.

As the independent nuclear regulator, our mission is to protect society, and we would not allow any facility to operate unless we are satisfied that it is safe to do so.

* Generic Design Assessment – Step 4 – Summary Report of EDF and AREVA UK EPR assessment (onr.org.uk)