16 Nov 10

Good news for EPR - "High quality work" by EDF and Areva leads UK nuclear safety authority to close Regulatory Issue on EPR

EDF today welcomed the UK nuclear safety authority’s decision to close the only Regulatory Issue on the EPR, which related to its Control and Instrumentation.

The safety authority - the Nuclear Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive - said that EDF and Areva had put in 'a considerable amount of high quality work’ and 'have addressed satisfactorily the Nuclear Directorate's concerns'.

EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "This decision by the UK safety authority is very good news for the EPR.

"The control and instrumentation issue was, and is, one of the most sensitive in terms of nuclear safety and was vital to resolve.

"Closure of the only Regulatory Issue, on such a significant topic, is a defining moment for the EPR.

"This decision by the safety authority, combined with their assertion that there are no showstoppers for the EPR, is a key milestone among EDF's efforts to deliver secure, decarbonised, affordable energy to the timetable the UK needs.

"We are committed to continuing the high quality work that led to today's decision, to secure licensing of the EPR in the UK in line with the timetable.

"This good news for the UK project is good news for the EPR family as a whole, and demonstrates the success of our strategy to deliver a similar design, reflecting different regulations and ensuring the same high level of safety."

The UK assessment of the EPR continues through the Generic Design Assessment process, on which EDF has been working closely and well with Areva. EDF is committed to continuing to work closely with the safety authority, providing high quality and timely input, so that the authority’s timetable to complete a meaningful assessment by June 2011 will be met.

EDF is delighted that there are now no Regulatory Issues outstanding for the EPR and is committed to finalising the Control and Instrumentation solutions accepted by the HSE within the required timescales.

The UK decision follows the positive announcement by the French safety authority ASN in August on the Control and Instrumentation of the EPR at Flamanville in Normandy.


Notes to Editors

Regulatory Issues

During the assessment process, the regulator may require more information or may have concerns about a particular element of the reactor design. Through raising a Regulatory Issue, the GDA process allows early identification of any such issues at the design stage, when they can be more easily resolved than during construction. A Regulatory Issue is raised when the regulator has concerns that are sufficiently important that they may, if not addressed, prevent the successful completion of the GDA.

More information on RIs can be accessed from the GDA website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/newreactors/regissues.htm