LONDON Jan 6 Hitachi and reactor
design partner GE cleared an important UK planning hurdle
on Monday as two regulators started detailed assessment of the
companies' UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) to allow it
to be used in new UK nuclear plants.
Hitachi plans to build up to five ABWR at two sites in
Britain which it acquired in 2012 from German utilities E.ON
and RWE, but the use of the design requires
Britain's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the
Environment Agency (EA) on Monday started in-depth assessment of
the design, also known as step two in their joint Generic Design
Assessment (GDA) process.
"The regulators consider that they should now begin their
assessments and that there are adequate project management,
technical and legal provisions in place," the ONR and EA said in
a joint statement.
Since January 2013 the regulators have been working with
Hitachi-GE to explain the regulatory system and to gain initial
understanding of Hitachi-GE's proposals, they said.
The whole assessment process is expected to finish by the
end of 2017.
"The GDA is critical to the success of our projects. We're
very pleased to see Hitachi-GE and the regulators moving onto
the second stage which marks another important milestone for new
nuclear build at Wylfa and Oldbury," said Alan Raymant, chief
operating officer of Hitachi's Horizon nuclear new build
Next to Horizon, France's EDF and a joint venture
between GDF Suez and Toshiba's Westinghouse
plan to build new nuclear plants in Britain.
The country has an ambitious target to replace its ageing
nuclear power plants by the middle of the next decade.