EDF Energy and AREVA new nuclear reactor design on course for UK approval by “end of the year”
EDF Energy and Areva have welcomed further progress on approval for the EPR reactor design planned for new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point and Sizewell. The update from regulators means that the UK EPR remains on schedule to be approved by the end of this year - in time for a decision from EDF Energy on whether to proceed with the project.
Today’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA) update from the Office of Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency confirms the closure of six further GDA issues. Since the end of last week the ONR has reported separately that an additional nine GDA issues have been closed out.
According to the joint regulators: “We now have technical agreement on the route to completion of almost all of the GDA Issues, and the remaining areas of discussion are receiving significant attention with a view to agreeing a way forward.” The report recognises “the improvements in the quality and timeliness of the submissions” made by EDF Energy and AREVA to address issues during the last six months, and concludes that "closure of all issues should be achievable before the end of the year".
Today’s update is another step forward for the project and follows good progress on: planning, agreement with local councils on mitigation for the impact of construction and the identification of contractors who will construct Hinkley Point C. A final decision to progress depends on agreeing a robust framework with Government that will give a fair and balanced deal for consumers and investors.
EDF Energy Managing Director of Nuclear New Build, Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson said: “This is another important step which brings us closer to being able to deliver the huge infrastructure project at Hinkley Point, which is as large as the Olympics and offers big benefits for the country in jobs, skills and economic activity.
“Subject to a final decision to invest, these will be the first new nuclear reactors built in the UK for around 20 years. The proposed new station at Hinkley will provide enough low carbon electricity to power five million homes. We welcome this recognition that we are set to see the EPR design licensed for use in the UK before the end of the year.
“As today’s report notes, the interaction between EDF Energy, AREVA and the joint regulator has been ‘intensive’ and we are pleased that the focus all parties have placed on the process has resulted in significant steps forward. We and AREVA remain committed to achieving the close out of all issues by the end of 2012.“
Alain-Pierre Raynaud, Chairman of AREVA UK, said: “We are encouraged by this very positive report and the momentum which has built up to resolve the remaining issues. AREVA is committed to providing the information and resource required to resolve the diminishing number of outstanding issues by the end of the year. We look forward to the award of full certification to the EPR. When achieved this would make it the first and only Generation III plus nuclear reactor to have won the approval of the UK nuclear regulator after progressing through all the stages of its exhaustive generic design approval process.”
Other recent milestones on EDF Energy’s new nuclear projects include:
- Site preparation work at Hinkley Point C began in February 2012. This followed permission from the local authorities last year.
- Somerset councils and EDF Energy have signed a landmark agreement which will deliver nearly £100 million for local communities to mitigate the impact of developing the proposed new nuclear power station.
- Following three years of community consultation, EDF Energy submitted its application for a Development Consent Order to build and operate Hinkley Point C in October 2011. The Planning Inspectorate (formerly the Infrastructure Planning Commission) completed its examination on 22 September and is expected to make its recommendation later this year.
- We have let contracts including a £100 million-plus contract to Kier Bam for work to prepare the site. In June, we announced Laing O’Rourke/Bouygues TP as the preferred bidder for the £2 billion civils contract.
- More than 1,000 Somerset businesses have now registered to be potential suppliers to the Hinkley Point C project through a website run in partnership with Somerset Chamber of Commerce. In addition over 550 have signed up to a national database.
- We are developing the skills and jobs to deliver the project. The project will employ up to 25,000 people over the course of construction with 5,600 people on site at peak. There are already in excess of 700 people in UK and France working on the Hinkley Point C project. We have announced a £15 million investment to develop a world class training centre in Somerset.
- In July plans to build a temporary sea jetty at Hinkley Point C were approved and in November a contract worth £30m was awarded to Dean and Dyball, part of Balfour Beatty, for the construction of the jetty, the pier head and the associated on-shore structures.
- In addition, we plan to start formal public consultation for Sizewell C later this month.
Notes to Editors
AREVA supplies solutions for power generation with less carbon. Its expertise and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are setting the standard, and its responsible development is anchored in a process of continuous improvement.
Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA's unique integrated offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and related services. The group is also expanding in renewable energies - wind, solar, bioenergies, hydrogen and storage - to be one of the top three in this sector worldwide.
With these two major offers, AREVA's 48,000 employees are helping to supply ever safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. AREVA Group is headquartered in Paris, France.
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