Improvements in the quality and timeliness of submissions from Areva and EDF on outstanding issues concerning design approval of their UK European Pressurised Water Reactor (UK EPR) mean “closure of all issues should be achievable before the end of the year”, UK nuclear regulators have said.
In their latest report on the generic design assessment (GDA) process for the UK EPR, the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency said they “remain convinced” that closing out GDA issues ahead of permission to commence nuclear island construction should lead to “more predictable and achievable schedules for the safe construction of such reactors”.
The latest report contains detail about the closure of six further GDA issues on the EDF and Areva UK EPR reactor design. It also provides more detail on the wider design assessment process.
Since this report was written, the ONR and the Environment Agency have closed nine more issues. There are now a total of 18 GDA issues closed, leaving 13 remaining.
Issues that have been closed include justification of the beyond design basis behaviour of the UK EPR containment structure and justification of the methods proposed for the seismic analysis of the reactor.
The regulators said the quality and delivery of information by EDF and Areva have continued to improve throughout the last quarter, which has led to an increase the number of “right first time” submissions.
The EPR is currently being built in Finland, France and China and the certification process is under way in the US.
The other reactor undergoing the GDA is the Westinghouse UK AP 1000.