The civil nuclear industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the UK. Proposed reactor designs undergo a thorough assessment by UK regulators before construction can even begin.
As one of the world’s most popular types of nuclear power generation, boiling water reactors provide a reliable form of electricity production. They work by generating steam inside the reactor which is then passed to the turbine, simplifying the process of energy production.
The modular design developed by Hitachi makes ABWRs more simple to construct and easier to operate, while the efficient turbine technology offers reliable electricity generation.
Hitachi's ABWR - the world’s first ‘Generation III+’ reactor in operation – provides the highest level of safety and security. This latest design has increased the power generation capacity of the reactor while also decreasing its size – reducing its overall footprint.
Since the introduction of boiling water reactor technology, Hitachi has participated in the design, development and construction of over 20 nuclear power plants in Japan alone.
With enhanced reliability and safety features, Hitachi’s ‘Generation III+’ Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) are the most advanced reactors in commercial operation in the world today.
As experts in nuclear power generation technology, Hitachi has also developed advanced methods of construction. By assembling plant components at dedicated factories and transporting them directly to the site, Hitachi effectively shortens work periods and raises the level of quality assurance.
Find out more about ABWR technology.
The approval process
When approved, the UK ABWRs will be the first of their kind in Europe.
No nuclear reactor can be built in the UK unless the regulators are completely satisfied that it can operate safely. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA) are in the final stage of a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the UK ABWR technology. This process will determine whether the regulators consider the technology appropriate to move to the site-specific licensing stage.
The GDA process takes a number of years to complete. However, as a proven international technology we’re confident that UK ABWRs will be considered suitable for use in the UK. The UK ABWR is currently in the fourth and final stage of the GDA process and the application is due to be completed in late 2017.
Find out more about the Generic Design Assessment process.