UK ABWR clears last Regulatory Issue

06 April 2017

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has closed the second and remaining Regulatory Issue (RI) for Hitachi-GE's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) design. A spokesman for Horizon Nuclear Power - which Hitachi acquired in 2012 - said today the company "remains on track" to complete the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process by the end of this year.

The ONR, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales said last month they expect to complete the GDA for the UK ABWR - and be able to issue a Design Acceptance Confirmation and a Statement of Design Acceptability - in December. The RI concerned Hitachi-GE developing and delivering a suitable and sufficient Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) for the UK ABWR.

"Closure of this RI shows further progress, and we're extremely pleased to remain on track for GDA completion this year. Indeed, the regulators recently awarded us a Green project metric, showing confidence we can finish on schedule," the Horizon spokesman told World Nuclear News. "Of course, we take nothing for granted. There is much hard work ahead of us - for Hitachi-GE in finalising our ultimate submissions, and of course for the regulators in assessing those over the late summer and autumn."

The ONR said it was "content" that Hitachi-GE had provided sufficient information "to meet the intent of RI-ABWR-0002". The ONR said the RI had "represented a serious regulatory shortfall".

It added: "Hitachi-GE presented a resolution plan to address the issue, which is now completed. The regulators are satisfied that Hitachi-GE has delivered a comprehensive UK ABWR PSA submission, including consideration of internal events and hazards, for the reactor, spent fuel pool and other facilities. This is considered a positive step forward as Hitachi-GE continues to progress through ONR's step 4 of the GDA process. The regulators remain confident that Design Acceptance Confirmation and Statement of Design Acceptability are achievable in December 2017, subject to timely and quality submissions from Hitachi-GE."

The ONR closed RI-01 (identification and justification of source terms) on the UK ABWR last year, describing this as a "commendable achievement" by Hitachi-GE.

Horizon plans to deploy the UK ABWR at two sites - Wylfa Newydd, which is on the Isle of Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn, in South Gloucestershire.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News