UK confirms nuclear reactor is suitable for construction

Regulators today confirmed that the UK EPR nuclear reactor is suitable for construction in the UK.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have issued statements saying they are satisfied that the reactor, designed by EDF Energy and Areva, meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental impact.

Today’s approval follows five years of generic design assessment and additional site-specific consents and approvals are still required from the regulators before this type of reactor can be built in Britain.

In a statement, Colin Patchett, acting chief inspector of nuclear installations, Office for Nuclear Regulation, said: ‘We are satisfied that this reactor is suitable for construction in the UK.

‘It is a significant step and ensures that this reactor meets the high standards that we insist upon. We have been able to identify significant issues while the designs are on the drawing board.

‘There remain site-specific issues that must be addressed before we’ll approve its construction on any site.’

According to EDF, today’s is a significant step forward for the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: ‘The acceptance of the design for the EPR reactor is a major achievement and milestone for our new nuclear project in Somerset.

‘It represents four years of hard work and allows our project to have a stable design before we start, offering a huge boost for the predictability of costs. It highlights our credibility and that of the EPR design, as well as demonstrating that the UK has a credible policy and regulatory framework in place.’