Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sizewell C: UK regulators confirm acceptance of new nuclear reactor design

06:00 14 December 2012

The Office for Nuclear Regulation has given the all clear to the design for the first UK European Pressurised Reactor

The Office for Nuclear Regulation has given the all clear to the design for the first UK European Pressurised Reactor


PLANS to build a third nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast received a boost after industry watchdogs gave the all clear to a new reactor design.


The Office of Nuclear Reaction (ONR) and the Environment Agency yesterday confirmed the UK version of the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) is suitable for construction.

EDF Energy - which designed the reactor with Areva - would build two EPRs on the Suffolk coast if its plans for Sizewell C get given the go ahead.

Earlier this week the company’s chief executive Vincent de Rivas said he was confident the design would be given the all clear.

Colin Patchett, acting chief inspector of nuclear installations for the ONR, said the reactor met regulatory expectation on safety, security and environmental impact.

However, additional site-specific consents and approvals are still required from the regulators before the reactor can be built at any UK location and planning permission must be obtained from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, he added.

“It is a significant step and ensures that this reactor meets the high standards that we insist upon,” Mr Patchett said. “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.

“This new approach to regulation has proved to be a success. We have done what we set out to do and our assessment has been effective, ensuring the protection of people and society from the hazards of the nuclear industry.”

Joe McHugh, head of radioactive substances regulation at the Environment Agency, added: “We set out with the ONR to rigorously, and transparently, assess whether this new reactor design would be acceptable for use.

“Through robust scrutiny we are satisfied that this design can meet the high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management that we require.”

Earlier this week the ONR rejected a claim from Suffolk based environmental consultant Pete Wilkinson that they were making compromises in order to meet a Government target for resolving issues surrounding the reactor design by the end of the year.

Commenting on yesterday’s announcement Mr Wilkinson said there needed be more of an indication of how the ONR had arrived at its decision to approve the reactor.

“The problem is they can park a lot of the unresolved issues in an area to look at later,” he said. “There is an air from my perspective of rushing this through. The Government needs to have the design acceptance certification by the end of the year.

“They [the ONR] talk about being open and transparent but it would be nice to see that in practice.”

An ONR spokesman has previously maintained that the body is independent of Government policy and made clear it would not close out issues on the reactor design until assessment teams were satisfied.

Related articles



A file picture of the Sanofi factory in Haverhill.

More than 50 jobs are to be axed at the Haverhill site of pharmaceutical group Sanofi.

Georgi Rollings, left, and Emma Lawrence of Starfish Accounting.

An Ipswich based provider of online company secretarial software has reached the landmark milestone of having 10,000 users.

Robert Hughes, managing director of Hughes Electrical, and Andy Yallop, store manager, at the company's new branch in Bury St Edmunds.

Hughes Electrical has opened the doors of its new store in Bury St Edmunds following a £200,000 investment which has also created six new jobs, doubling the size of its workforce in the town.

Barclays has been fined £72m by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Banking giant Barclays has been fined £72million by the City watchdog for failing to handle potential financial crime risks relating to a £1.88billion transaction for ultra high-net-worth clients.

Members of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce team outside the chamber's offices at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is among the nominees in two categories of the British Chambers of Commerce Awards, which are due to be announced at a ceremony in central London tonight.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivering his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons
Photo: PA Wire

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review today divided opinion between unions employers.

Natalie Moloney, of Woodbridge events firm Pink Lemonade Productions.

An entrepreneur is up for a fifth business award since her event planning company launched last year.

Tony Willson, managing director of Helmsman Services.

Colchester-based training specialist Helmsman Services has secured the largest contract in its 17 year history, for its construction-specific e-learning health and safety courses.

Thomas Cook has reported its first annual profit for five years.

The boss of holiday firm Thomas Cook said yesterday that disruption experience since the deadly terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Paris was “unprecedented” in his 30-year career.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24