The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have just approved the designs for a new type of nuclear reactor which has been designed by the French engineering company Areva, and is favoured by EDF Energy.
The approval of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) could see its installation in multiple sites around Britain, starting with the two new plants that EDF already plan to build in the UK. It also gives the UK a boost in the race to secure tens of billions of pounds in nuclear investment, as it removes one more regulatory hurdle for energy utilities.
The British regulators released a statement which read that, “the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency are satisfied that this reactor, designed by EDF Energy and Areva, meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental impact.”
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EDF said that, “it has been demonstrated that the design is robust even when challenged by extreme events such as those seen following the Fukushima incident in 2011.”
The UK government is now negotiating with utilities to determine electricity prices that they can charge in order to make new projects, such as wind and nuclear, economically viable. The costs to build new nuclear power plants have increased since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 as tighter regulations and rules have been applied to the design process, raising concerns that the technology is now too expensive.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com