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Design acceptance for the AP1000® reactor

Dr Richard Savage, ONR Chief Nuclear Inspector

The AP1000® nuclear reactor, designed by Westinghouse, is suitable for construction in the UK said the regulators today following completion of an in-depth assessment of the reactor design.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, the regulators who undertake the Generic Design Assessment of new reactor designs, are satisfied that the reactor meets expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.

ONR has issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) to Westinghouse and the environment agencies have issued a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA).

Dr Richard Savage, ONR's Chief Nuclear Inspector, said: "The closure of our assessment of the generic design of the AP1000® reactor is a significant step in the process, ensuring the design meets the very high standards of safety we expect.

"We will now focus our regulatory attention on site specific assessments, and NuGen's application for a nuclear site licence."

Dr Jo Nettleton, Deputy Director for Radioactive Substances and Installations Regulation at the Environment Agency said: "Successfully completing GDA means that the AP1000 is capable of meeting the high standards of environment protection and waste management that we require.
We’re already working with NuGen, as it develops its proposals to build and operate three AP1000 reactors at Moorside in Cumbria, to ensure that those high standards are delivered."

The regulators required 51 GDA Issues to be resolved before confirming the suitability of the AP1000. All of the issues have been addressed to the regulators’ satisfaction enabling the DAC and SoDA to be issued. The regulators’ assessment reports are all available online.