Environment Agency consults on nuclear design mooted for Bradwell

The Environment Agency (EA) has opened a consultation into the generic design of the HPR-1000 nuclear reactor. The reactor design, which  is being assessed by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and EA, is based on one that has been developed by China General Nuclear (CGN) for construction in China.

The consultation does not relate to a specific site. However, the Bradwell B Power Company (BrB) is developing proposals for two UK HPR1000s to be constructed at the Bradwell site in Essex, adjacent to the existing Magnox power station.

The EA has published eight preliminary assessment reports alongside its consultation, on management systems; radioactive waste management arrangements; ‘best available techniques’to minimising waste and the impact on the environment; gaseous and aqueous waste discharges and likely limits; solid waste and spent fuel disposability; monitoring radioactive discharges; radiological impact on people and wildlife; and other environmental legislation.

The EA says, “Based on our findings so far, our preliminary conclusion is that we consider many of the environmental aspects of the design would be acceptable.” It says there are six potential issues to be addressed before it would consider issuing a full statement of design acceptability for the  UK HPR1000.

They are:

  • Using operational experience consistently to support safety case documentation..
  • Ensuring that environmental protection is given appropriate consideration where safety aspects are still under review.
  • Justifying the designer’s choice of high efficiency particulate air filters.
  • Providing design requirements for the spent fuel which define the specifications of an appropriate interim storage facility before it is disposed of in a geological disposal facility. 
  • Confirming the strategy for disposing of core instrument assemblies. 
  • Providing advice from Radioactive Waste Management Ltd on whether the higher activity waste from the UK HPR1000 will be able to be disposed of in a geological disposal facility.

The consultation closes on 4 April. Full details here