Skip to main content

Nuclear Power Stations: Safety

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions his Department has had with the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate on the safety control systems for the design of the generic European Pressurised Water Reactor; and what the timetable is for the assessment of generic design candidate reactors for new nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. (274631)

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the HSE is in the process of assessing EDF/AREVA’s UK European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) as part of their Generic Design Assessment (GDA). During this process the NII has informed officials from DECC’s Office of Nuclear Development (OND) that it has raised issues with EDF/AREVA on the Control and Instrumentation (C&I) systems of the EPR design.

The NII has raised this matter with EDF/AREVA, both verbally and as a Regulatory Issue (the highest level of technical issue that can be given under GDA), sent on 16 April 2009.

Having a GDA process in the UK allows the regulators to raise these types of issues at an early stage of the assessment process, which is what the NII has been able to do. This then allows the company involved to identify solutions that can be implemented at an early stage of the conceptual design, prior to construction.

We expect the GDA process to be completed by June 2011.