Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has approved a nuclear reactor designed by China for use in the country following an in-depth assessment.

The UK Hualong Pressurised Water Reactor (UK HPR1000) has been confirmed by the ONR and the Environment Agency (EA) as suitable for construction in the country.

The reactor is based on the Hualong One, a third generation pressurised water nuclear reactor power plant technology designed by China General Nuclear Group (CGN).

CGN and EDF had proposed to construct and operate a nuclear power station using twin UK HPR1000s at the site near the existing Magnox power station site at Bradwell in Essex.

The Chinese has already developed nuclear power stations in China using Hualong reactors.

The HPR1000 has a capacity to produce nearly 1.18GW of electricity, which is enough to power more than 1.5 million homes on average.

General Nuclear System, acting for the two companies, started submitting the UK HPR1000 design to both the EA and ONR for Generic Design Assessment (GDA), which is a process to assess the acceptability of new nuclear power station designs, in September 2017.

According to the ONR and the EA, the UK HPR1000 reactor meets regulatory expectations on safety, security and environmental protection.

ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector Mark Foy said: “The UK HPR1000 design has been assessed against the high levels of safety and security expected in the UK, and issuing the Design Acceptance Confirmation – after rigorous and detailed assessments undertaken by a wide range of my specialist inspectors – means we consider the UK HPR1000 design is suitable for deployment in the UK.”

Recently, state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) has signed a deal to construct the $8 billion Atucha III nuclear power plant in Argentina.

The project involves engineering, construction, acquisition, commissioning and delivery of a HPR-1000 type reactor.