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13 December 2012
The Nuclear Industry Association [NIA] today welcomed the announcement that the European Pressurised Reactor [EPR] has completed the Generic Design Assessment [GDA] to the deadline set a year ago.
The EPR - to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset - will be the first new nuclear reactor built in the UK since Sizewell B station 25 years ago.
The GDA process was undertaken over a 4 year period by the UK's independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, and the Environment Agency.
NIA Chief Executive Keith Parker said:
“The very welcome announcement that the GDA process for the EPR reactor is now successfully complete is the latest milestone in what has been a pivotal year for the nuclear industry. Over recent months we have seen a number of key steps taken towards the nuclear new build programme, including the publication of the Energy Bill and the sale of Horizon Nuclear Power to Hitachi Ltd.
“The UK's new nuclear programme will play an essential role in securing the UK's energy future. Once built, the proposed new power station at Hinkley will alone provide 3.2GW low-carbon electricity to 5 million homes for 60 years.”
This announcement follows on from that made yesterday by AREVA announcing that it has signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with 25 UK-based companies for the supply of components and services for new EPR nuclear reactors planned for the UK.
Keith Parker recognised the significant role that the nuclear industry plays as an engine for growth in the UK economy:
“The national new nuclear programme will create around 32,000 jobs by 2025, many of these being high-quality jobs requiring a highly-skilled workforce. It is real engine for growth for the UK economy, with each nuclear station representing an infrastructure project on the scale of London 2012. There is huge potential for companies and workers across the UK – and importantly in geographically diverse areas outside of the South-East.”