Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°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

Archant

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.

shares

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

shares

0 comments

The Willis building in Ipswich.

Around 200 people are to lose their jobs at the Ipswich office of global insurance broker and risk management group Willis.

The Great House restaurant with rooms in Lavenham.

An award-winning Suffolk restaurant has gained another accolade after being ranked the 26th best in the country.

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT.

Photo: BT

BT is to pay out up to £129million to extend the Government-led roll-out of superfast broadband, after a bigger-than-expected take-up of the service.

Centrica has reignited controversy over high energy bills by announcing a 44% increase in first half profits at its British Gas retail division.

Energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and Centrica today revealed plans to axe a total of more than 12,000 jobs.

Christopher Hayman of Hayman Distillers with his children Miranda and James.

Essex gin maker Hayman Distillers is celebrating after winning a Gold award at this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).

Bakery chain Greggs saw like-for-like sales rise 5.9% in the six months to July 4.

Higher breakfast sales and a bigger range of healthier products helped Greggs grow underlying profits by 51% in the first half of the year.

Barclays chairman 

John McFarlane.
Photo: VisMedia

Barclays boss John McFarlane today signalled plans to ramp up growth, squeeze costs and streamline the business after announcing a 25% rise in first half profits.

Uncertainty over Government policy is holding back potential investment in the offshore wind sector, according to East of England Energy Zone director James Gray.

The absence of a clear Government stategy is leaving the offshore wind industry “in limbo”, according to a leading figure within the sector in East Anglia.

The rate of growth in the UK economy rebounded during the second quarter of 2015, but the manufacturing sector continued to struggle, according to official figures.

UK growth bounced back in the second quarter of 2015 as gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.7%, according to official figures.

Ransomes Jacobsen operations director Simon Rainger addresses staff as the company's last Ransomes Commander mover leaves the production line.

Staff at Ipswich-based turf maintenance machinery maker Ransomes Jacobsen have marked the end of an era, with the last Ransomes Commander mower having rolled off the production line.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages