Press Release: Generic Design Assessment process to begin for UK HPR1000 nuclear technology

Third generation design intended for proposed CGN-EDF development at Bradwell in Essex

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today confirmed that the nuclear regulators have been asked to begin the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for the UK HPR1000 nuclear technology. This marks a first step in the robust and thorough process to seek permission to build a nuclear power station at Bradwell in Essex.

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and EDF had submitted a joint application through their joint venture company GNS (General Nuclear System Ltd) to BEIS in October 2016 to begin the GDA process for a UK version of the HPR1000 nuclear technology. The reference plant for the design is CGN’s Fangchenggang Plant Unit 3 in China which is under construction and on schedule.

This is a key step in the development of proposals from CGN and EDF for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell in Essex. The UK’s nuclear regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency are among the most rigorous, independent nuclear regulators in the world. All nuclear operators in the UK must work within this strict regulatory framework, and all reactor designs satisfy the safety, security and environmental requirements of the Generic Design Assessment process.

The proposed Bradwell project is in an early pre-planning stage which will involve years of investigative works and public consultations before detailed proposals are produced allowing a planning application to be made. A UK version of HPR1000 reactor is intended to be built at Bradwell following GDA approval.

CGN and EDF have been working together for more than 30 years on nuclear development and construction in China. They have formed an industrial partnership in the UK to build Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset and to develop Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex.

Zhu Minhong, General Manager of CGN UK said: “The robust independence of the UK’s regulators is seen across the world as a key strength for nuclear in Britain. This is a quality which we value and respect. CGN and EDF will bring to this enterprise their joint experience in China, Britain and France over many years.”

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy Nuclear New Build MD said: “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. 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 GDA process will take a number of years to complete. There are a number of different consents and permissions to be achieved before a nuclear power station can be constructed. As well as successful completion of the GDA process, other requirements include development consent, site licensing and environmental permits.

Nuclear new build projects bring the benefits of reliable low-carbon energy for the country as well as major industrial and economic benefits locally, regionally and throughout the UK.

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Notes to editors EDF-CGN relationship EDF and CGN have been working as industrial partners for 30 years. This includes the joint venture between CGN and EDF to build two EPR reactors at Taishan.

EDF and CGN have signed an agreement to develop Hinkley Point C in Somerset to build and operate two EPR reactors and to develop Sizewell C in Suffolk to a final investment decision with a view to build and operate two EPR reactors.

CGN and EDF have also signed an agreement to develop Bradwell B in Essex to a final investment decision with a view to build and operate UK HPR1000 technology.

The UK will benefit from this long-standing co-operation and the extensive and proven capability of CGN in the construction and operation of nuclear plants. The Chinese investment provides a boost to British jobs and industry, allowing British companies to work with experienced Chinese and French companies in a global new nuclear market.

CGN enquiries
Michael Harrison/Diana Vaughton (Brunswick Group) – 0207 4045959

EDF Energy enquiries
Marjorie Barnes – 01728 653378