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EDF's Bradwell nuclear reactor design plans move forward

NCE stock nuclear

The design for the planned nuclear reactor at Bradwell in Essex by EDF Energy and China General Nuclear (CGN) has gone through to the second phase of its official assessment by regulators.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency are progressing the assessment for the HPR1000 reactor design from China.

Bradwell Power Generation Company, a JV of CGN and EDF, plans to construct a new nuclear power station at its site next to the existing Magnox site at Bradwell in Essex. CGN and EDF have also created a JV company, called General Nuclear System (GNS), to undertake the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process for the UK HPR1000 nuclear reactor technology.

ONR deputy chief inspector and director of ONR’s new reactors division Mike Finnerty said: “The purpose of GDA is to determine whether the design meets the robust safety and security standards to make it suitable for use in the UK. I am satisfied that there are adequate project management and technical provisions in place to enter Step 2 of the process and, as regulators, we can begin our technical assessment phase.”

Environment Agency Nuclear Regulation Group manager Steve Hardy added: “In this GDA we’re assessing the environmental acceptability of a new reactor design from China, the UK HPR1000. We’ll identify any issues or concerns we have with the UK HPR1000 and work with GNS, CGN/EDF’s company bringing this reactor to the UK, to make sure it understands our expectations and delivers a design that meets them.

“We are beginning a process of robust scrutiny on which we will report our progress and findings. People can contribute to this work through the comments process that can be accessed from our websites.”

The site will have 16 main buildings including an emergency diesel generator, a safeguarding area, a radioactive waste treatment building and the reactor building itself.

A double-walled, concrete containment structure will cover the reactor building and prevent radioactive material seeping into the environment in an emergency situation. Both the interior and exterior systems will sit on a common raft foundation of reinforced concrete.

The interior containment structure will use a stainless steel lining to protect against leakages, fixed to concrete at the bottom with a series of angled anchors. The exterior containment dome will protect the interior structure; it has been designed to withstand the impact of collision with a large commercial plane.

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