Office for Nuclear Regulation & Environment Agency

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Quarterly updates

ONR and the Environment Agency produce quarterly reports on the progress of assessing new nuclear reactor designs. The reports summarise the current position and highlight key challenges and issues, as well as demonstrating progress against timeframes. In publishing these reports, we are aiming to increase public understanding of our role in assessing the safety and security of new nuclear power station designs.

Progress report for the period February 2016 to April 2016

This report provides an update on Hitachi-GE's progress with GDA of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the progress of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design between November 2015 and January 2016.

In the report, we reference concerns with regards to the schedule for the GDA closure phase of the AP1000 design.  Since the reporting period, Westinghouse issued a revised closure programme for GDA in response to our request.  This schedule shows a projected GDA completion date of March 2017.

The regulators acknowledge the programme extension and will maintain a close focus on Westinghouse's delivery and quality of submissions in the coming months.  We will continue to provide our view of its progress in our future quarterly reports.

Progress report for the period November 2015 to January 2015

This report provides an update on Hitachi-GE's progress with GDA of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the progress of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design between November 2015 and January 2016.

In the report, we reference concerns with regards to the schedule for the GDA closure phase of the AP1000 design.  Since the reporting period, Westinghouse issued a revised closure programme for GDA in response to our request.  This schedule shows a projected GDA completion date of March 2017.

The regulators acknowledge the programme extension and will maintain a close focus on Westinghouse's delivery and quality of submissions in the coming months.  We will continue to provide our view of its progress in our future quarterly reports.

Progress report for the period July 2015 to October 2015

This report provides information on the work that we have been carrying out on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the closure phase of the GDA project for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design, during the period July to October 2015. We extended the period of this report to include the end of ONR's Step 3 for the UK ABWR project.

During this period we completed our assessment of Hitachi-GE's submissions for ONR's GDA Step 3 of the UK ABWR project. As part of our governance, we undertook a gateway review to consider the regulators' and Hitachi-GE's readiness to move to ONR's Step 4. The review concluded that sufficient progress had been made by Hitachi-GE, and that the regulators had the resources available to progress to Step 4.

Step 4 of the UK ABWR GDA commenced on 2 November 2015. The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales are continuing on Step 3 ('detailed assessment') of their GDA process for the UK ABWR. This has a longer duration than ONR's Step 3 and concludes when the environmental regulators begin consulting on their preliminary findings at the end of that step.

For the AP1000 project, this period has been one of business as usual as we continue our assessment of the GDA Issues. There has been some programme slippage in a number of topic areas, and Westinghouse is working to re-baseline the overall programme, with the objective of enabling regulators to make decisions about issuing a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptance Confirmation (SoDA) in January 2017, as per the current programme.

On 21 October 2015, the UK and Chinese Governments announced a 'Statement of Cooperation in the Field of Civil Nuclear Energy 2015', and a Strategic Investment Agreement between EDF and its partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN). The agreement sets out the terms of the companies' partnership for the Hinkley Point C project and their proposed collaboration at the Sizewell and Bradwell sites. The agreement expects that a Chinese designed reactor will be submitted for GDA in 2016. The regulators are planning to begin this GDA in 2016 when requested by Government.

Progress report for the period April 2015 to June 2015

This report provides an update on Hitachi-GE's progress with Step 3 for GDA of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the progress of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design.

  • UK ABWR - Progress continues well across the 22 metric areas, and individual challenges in 2 areas have been addressed with RIs - for which satisfactory resolution plans have been provided.
  • AP1000 - The regulators have focused on gaining clarity on the design reference point, recognising the design development work that occurred during the pause period.

The report also includes the performance metrics for both UK ABWR and AP1000 projects, which provide a clear overview of the status of the project in all of the technical areas.

Post Quarterly Report note

In July, Hitachi-GE requested an adjustment to their schedule for GDA of the UK ABWR, specifically requesting a longer Step 3 and shorter Step 4. A revised programme of submissions has been agreed, and we continue to work towards completion of GDA by the end of 2017.

Progress report for the period January 2015 to March 2015

This report provides an update on Hitachi-GE's progress with Step 3 for GDA of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the progress of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design.

  • UK ABWR - Step 3 remains on schedule for completion at the end of August, although there have been some challenges in the reactor chemistry topic area.
  • AP1000 - the project has moved from the mobilisation phases into the technical assessment phase and all resolution plans for the 51 issues were published in March.

The report also includes the performance metrics for both UK ABWR and AP1000 projects, which provide a clear overview of the status of the project in all of the technical areas.

Post Quarterly Report note

The Quarterly Report references our concerns noted in the reactor chemistry topic area for the UK ABWR.  In the coming weeks, the regulators will issue a Regulatory Issue to Hitachi-GE who will need to address the shortfall before Design Acceptance Confirmation and a Statement of Design Acceptability can be granted.

Progress report for the period October 2014 to December 2014

This report provides an update on Hitachi-GE's progress with Step 3 for GDA of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), as well as giving an update on the remobilisation of GDA for Westinghouse's AP1000 plant design.

The report also includes the performance metrics for the UK ABWR project, which provide a clear overview of the status of the project in all of the technical areas.

Post Quarterly Report note - the Readiness Review held by the Regulators on 28th January 2015 concluded that the GDA of the Westinghouse AP1000 could progress from the mobilisation phase to the assessment stage. Revised GDA Issue Resolution Plans and associated schedules will be published on the joint Regulators' website in due course.

Progress report for the period July 2014 to September 2014

This report provides information on the work that we have been carrying out on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE's UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the re-mobilisation of the GDA project for the Westinghouse AP1000® reactor design, during the period July - September 2014.

This has been a period of significant progress when the Regulators completed Step 2 of the UK ABWR GDA and concluded that the project could continue to Step 3. We also began re-mobilising our project team to begin the work required to close out the 51 outstanding GDA Issues for the Westinghouse AP1000 plant design. This included a launch event to familiarise new assessors with the AP1000 technology and to brief all on the design changes that have occurred during the pause period of 2011 - 2014.

For the first time, this report includes the performance metrics for the UK ABWR project. These provide a clear overview of the status of the project in all of the technical areas, and our judgements on the quality of submissions and forward programme.

In this period we have also continued our work with the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP).