Green light for nuclear technology

The first major permission has been granted to build a nuclear reactor using new technology, it was announced today.

UK energy company Horizon Nuclear Power completed a standard regulatory process for its reactor technology, pressing ahead with plans to build two new nuclear power stations in North Wales and Gloucestershire.  

The approval by the government is the first in a string of permissions to be given by 2018 when the final go-ahead is due. It ensures that any new nuclear technology will benefit people and technology will outweigh any potential radiological health concerns.

"This is a major milestone in our journey to bring forward new secure, low-carbon and affordable electricity for the UK and clearly highlights the strengths of our chosen technology,” said Alan Raymant, chief operating officer at Horizon.

The company plans on using advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) to generate electricity. This way the steam generated inside the reactor is directly passed to the turbine, simplifying the process.

"Coming alongside the completion of our first round of public consultation at Wylfa, the positive progress being made on the generic design assessment of the UK advanced boiling water reactor, and our continued rapid growth both at headquarters and on Anglesey, it demonstrates real momentum behind our project and gives us great confidence as we move forward,” said Raymant.

The Hitachi-owned company hopes to provide 5,400MW of new power to the UK – the equivalent of electricity supply for 10 million homes – with the development of its nuclear power stations.  

Horizon’s proposal went through two rounds of public consultation before it was approved by ministers and the climate secretary.

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