Environment Agency consultation marks milestone in Generic Design Assessment process

The Environment Agency (EA) today started its public consultation on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the UK HPR1000, the reactor technology which is planned for use at Bradwell B, a proposed new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.

The environment regulator has published its preliminary conclusions from the GDA alongside its assessment reports and is now asking for feedback on these conclusions. The 12-week consultation begins on 11 January 2021 and will close on 4 April 2021.

This is an important step in the GDA, through which both the Environment Agency, and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), ensures that new nuclear power station designs planned to be used in the UK meet high standards of safety, security, and environmental protection. The GDA is a generic process and is separate but complimentary to applications to build nuclear power stations at specific sites such as at Bradwell.

Alan Raymant Bradwell B’s Chief Executive said: “We welcome the Environment Agency’s announcement of its public consultation. It is an important step in the assessment of the reactor for the UK, and consequently in being able to build the reactor at Bradwell B should we receive all necessary consents and permissions. I encourage everyone to review the information the EA has released and take part in the consultation.”

Chris Hall, UK HPR1000 Generic Design Assessment Officer, said: “High standards of safety, security and environmental protection are at the centre of nuclear power station development. The GDA allows the design to be scrutinised in fine detail in order to provide confidence that the design can produce low carbon electricity whilst maintaining safety for the community, the workforce, and the local environment. We continue to work closely with the regulators throughout the GDA process and look forward to hearing the feedback from the EA’s public consultation.”

The EA’s public consultation is held in parallel to the ongoing GDA comments process about the UK HPR1000, led by the applicant, General Nuclear System Limited which is a joint venture between CGN and EDF. Comments can be made on the reactor design, safety, and environmental aspects at any time during GDA via www.ukhpr1000.co.uk.

Alongside the GDA process is the separate site-specific planning process for Bradwell B, through which the developer of the proposed nuclear power station will apply to the Government, via the Planning Inspectorate, for a development consent order. The first stage of public consultation for this planning process took place in 2020 and further stages of consultation on the Bradwell B project will take place before an application for planning consent is made.

Information on the EA’s GDA consultation, including how to respond, is on the Gov.UK website.