The Government has confirmed that it has asked the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to start the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process for the UK HPR1000 reactor which General Nuclear Services (a joint venture between China General Nuclear and EDF) intend to build at Bradwell in Essex.
This is an essential step for the project which will see the Chinese company (which is an investor in the Hinkley Point C project) take the lead for the first time using its own technology. However, the GDA process generally takes several years and so the project launch is not imminent.
While the potential Chinese investment has been welcomed by the Government the same cannot be said for the unions. The GMB National Secretary for Energy, Justin Bowden, said, “Chinese pop-up power stations are not the solution to our growing energy needs and GMB has for years urged government to exercise considerable caution over Chinese involvement in terms of the technology, financing, security and the jobs – both during construction and once built.”