Hitachi and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy have announced that the UK ABWR has successfully completed the UK Nuclear Regulators’ Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process within the target period of five years. This has followed extensive assessment and scrutiny by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Environment Agency (EA), and Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
Hitachi-GE has received approval for deployment of its ABWR in the UK, paving the way for construction of Horizon Nuclear Power’s first unit at Wylfa Nwydd on Anglesey, North Wales. Four Generation III+ ABWRs have been successfully built and operated, all to time and budget. ABWR has now achieved approvals under four different regulatory regimes worldwide.
The UK ABWR underwent a four-step assessment by the ONR, the EA, and NRW. The ONR granted the UK ABWR a Design Acceptance Confirmation, while the EA and NRW granted a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA).
The main features of the ABWR, according to Hitachi-GE, include enhanced safety, higher operability, reduced dose equivalent, and enhanced cost efficiency during construction and operation.
Toshiaki Higashihara, President and CEO of Hitachi, said: “I am delighted that GDA of the UK ABWR has been successfully completed. Hitachi is taking another critically important step forwards in delivering an ABWR for the UK. Successfully completing GDA on schedule represents steady, sustained, and enduring progress for our UK nuclear projects.”
GDA of the UK ABWR began in April 2013, and entailed assessments across 20 topic work streams, involving a peak team of well over 300.