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UK regulators confirm acceptance of new nuclear reactor design

"There remain site-specific issues that must be addressed before we'll approve its construction on any site

The UK EPR nuclear reactor is suitable for construction in the UK, regulators confirmed today after an in-depth assessment of its generic design.

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

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

A significant step:

Colin Patchett, 'Acting Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations' at 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.

"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, Environment Agency, said:
"We set out with ONR to rigorously, and transparently, assess whether this new reactor design, the UK EPR, would be acceptable for use in England and Wales. Through robust scrutiny we are satisfied that this design can meet the high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management that we and ONR require."
The Office for Nuclear Regulation has today issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation and the Environment Agency a Statement of Design Acceptability for the UK EPR design. These, as well as other related documents, including ONR's summary assessment report and the Environment Agency's supplementary report, are now online.

Find out more:

Environment Agency: our role in new nuclear power stations
Generic Design Assessment reports