The Department has not allocated any funding to the Health and Safety Executive or the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to carry out generic design assessments.
The regulators, including the Health and Safety Executive and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, have developed resource plans to allow them to implement generic design assessments.
Industry will meet the costs of generic design assessment, as they currently meet the costs of licensing any nuclear plant. This will allow the regulators to resource the process.
Following a request from the Government, the regulators (the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency) developed a process for generic design assessment of new nuclear reactor designs, which they are carrying out on a contingent basis pending the outcome of the consultation on the future of nuclear power. The regulators published their guidance on the Generic Design Assessment process in January 2007.
The regulators estimate that performing generic design assessments for a competitive number of reactor designs could take around three and a half years, running until around 2010-11. Greater clarity on the time needed for the generic design assessment process should become available as the process unfolds. The time needed will also depend on the number of designs that are assessed concurrently.