UK Environment Agency Seeking Stakeholder Comments on Reactor Design

Hitachi-GE is trying to carry the UK ABWR through its first stages of regulatory review for development in Britain.

The UK Environment Agency plans to begin a consultation with stakeholders Dec. 12 on the generic design assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) that may be built in Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey in north Wales or Oldbury in South Gloucestershire. Those stakeholders include members of the public (including local interest and action groups), particularly those living near existing nuclear power stations, or potential new nuclear power stations, elected representatives, local councils and other representative bodies (especially those within 25 miles of potential nuclear new-build sites), non-government organizations, academics, and the nuclear industry.

The agency's objectives are to make sure stakeholders understand how it assessed the reactor design and the findings of that assessment, have an opportunity to provide their views on it, know what will happen next, and can the agency make its final decision on the acceptability of the reactor design as robust as possible.

Hitachi-GE's comments process is a requirement of the agency's GDA process; the process started in January 2014, and Hitachi-GE has received 61 comments so far. A joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. and General Electric Company, it was formed in July 2007, is owned 80.01 percent by Hitachi and 19.99 percent by GE, and has been involved in the construction of four ABWRs and in the license application of two nuclear power plants. It is trying to carry the UK ABWR through its first stages of regulatory review for development in Britain.

The company describes the ABWR as "a generation III+ (Gen. III+) reactor, the most modern operational generation of nuclear power stations" and "the most well-established Gen. III+ technology operating anywhere in the world." They are operational at four sites in Japan: two at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa; one at Hamaoka, and one at Shika, with others under construction in Taiwan and Japan. At full power, an ABWR reactor produces around 1350 MWe of electricity, enough to power more than two million homes, according to the company.

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