U.K. Energy Minister to Hitachi: Safety first

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Hitachi intends to build up to six new nuclear reactors in the U.K., but the U.K. Minister of State for Energy is saying, "safety first."

Hitachi recently acquired Horizon Nuclear Power and plans to develop new nuclear reactors at Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

"New nuclear has a central role to play in our energy future, delivering secure, low carbon power and supporting jobs and economic growth. Hitachi's commitment to the UK is extremely welcome, and I am determined that we work closely with the company to deliver their planned investment," said Minister of State John Hayes in a statement. "We must, however, be absolutely sure that any reactor used in this country meets our rigorous safety standards. That's why I'm asking the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency to conduct a thorough examination of the reactor design proposed for the Wylfa and Oldbury sites."

Generic design assessment work will begin on a new nuclear reactor for the U.K. -- the U.K. Advanced Boiling Water reactor (ABWR) of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Limited.  The Generic Design Assessment process is used by the nuclear regulators to assess the new nuclear power station designs, including the safety, security and environmental implications of new reactor designs, separately from applications to build them at specific sites.

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