The HPR100 nuclear reactor designed by China General Nuclear Services

First step towards nuclear power station in Essex

Image credit: CGN Power Co

The UK’s nuclear watchdog has been asked to initiate the approval process for a Chinese-designed reactor for the planned power station at Bradwell in Essex.

General Nuclear Services (GNS), a partnership between French energy giant EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), submitted the designs of the HPR1000 reactor to the UK's Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in October 2016.

The Department has now confirmed that work on the generic design assessment (GDA) has commenced, marking the first step towards building the Bradwell nuclear power station. The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation as well as the Environment Agency will be involved in the assessment, which is expected to take several years to complete.

“EDF will bring invaluable experience gained from the approval process for Hinkley Point C’s EPR reactors and from our continuing work with the UK’s independent regulators,” said Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy’s nuclear new build managing director.

“Both EDF and CGN will also be listening carefully to the community around Bradwell before we draw up detailed proposals for the development of the new power station.”

The reference plant for the design is CGN’s Fangchenggang Plant Unit 3 in China which is under construction and on schedule.

The move follows the Government go-ahead last year for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley in Somerset, to be built by EDF with backing from CGN. CGN and EDF have been working together for more than 30 years on nuclear development and construction in China.

The proposed Bradwell project is in an early pre-planning stage which will involve years of investigative work and public consultation before detailed proposals are produced allowing a planning application to be made.

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