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Nominations open for new nuclear site assessment

Power firms this week began evaluating and nominating sites to host new nuclear power plants after the government published its assessment criteria for approval.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) last week already confirmed the location of four existing sites that it would authorise for redevelopment.

Government’s criteria for new plants made it clear that it was only likely to accept sites at existing facilities and that new sites should not be near major population centres or certain
types of military activity.

Firms including EDF – which now owns British Energy and eight of Britain’s 10 operational nuclear power plants – have two months to nominate their sites.

The NDA’s nominations are Sellafield in West Cumbria, Wylfa on Anglesey, Oldbury in Gloucestershire and Bradwell in Essex.

The list of nominated sites will be published and consulted on after the March deadline for nominations has passed.Sites considered "strategically suitable" will be listed on the draft Nuclear National Policy Statement. This will then be used by the Infrastructure Planning Commission for considering fast track planning permission from 2010.

In a separate development,French nuclear reactor manufacturer Areva has set up a dedicated website for equipment and engineering suppliers to register their interest and to receive information. Areva has an agreement to supply its European Pressurised Reactor to EDF’s new nuclear power plants in the UK.

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