The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have confirmed the UKHPR1000 nuclear reactor is suitable for use in the UK.

The 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, following 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 this reactor meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.

The regulators assess the acceptability of new nuclear power station designs in a process called Generic Design Assessment. This helps ensure that any new nuclear power stations built in the UK meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management.

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.

Saffron Price Finnerty, Nuclear Regulation Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

“At the Environment Agency we are 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.

“We have 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. I’d also like to thank all who responded to our public consultation and provided comments that we’ve carefully considered in coming to our decision.”

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.”

The assessment reports are available on the regulators’ websites, along with the detail of regulatory decisions and observations throughout the process.