We're creating a single website for everything to do with BIS but, while we do that, you'll find information in three places. > Find what you're looking for
The Government has decided that new nuclear power stations can help the UK to meet its objectives on climate change and energy security.
In the White Paper the Government explained that it would take a number of facilitative actions to reduce the regulatory and planning risks associated with investing in new nuclear power stations and to ensure that owners and operators of new nuclear power stations set aside funds over the operating life of the power station to cover the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of long-term waste management and disposal costs.
The main facilitative actions are:
The Strategic Siting Assessment (SSA) process will determine where new nuclear power stations will be sited. It aims to assess those sites that are strategically suitable for the deployment of new nuclear power stations by the end of 2025.
The Government Response to the consultation on the SSA process and criteria set out the next steps for the SSA. Sites must be nominated to the SSA by 31 March 2009.
The Government will publish nominations and the public will have a month to give the Government their initial comments, prior and in addition to public consultation later in the year.
The assessment will be made by Government using the advice of specialists including regulators and others. The output of the SSA will be a draft list of the sites that Government has assessed to be strategically suitable, and these will form a key component of the draft Nuclear NPS, which will undergo public consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny.
The Nuclear NPS will provide the framework for planning consent by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission in considering applications for development consent.
More information on siting and planning reform policy is available on the Nuclear Power Siting Website.
Before any new class of type of practice involving the use of ionising radiation can be introduced in the UK, it must first be Justified, i.e. there must be a high level assessment of whether its social, economic or other benefits outweigh the health detriment.
As nuclear power stations involve the use of materials that give off ionising radiation, any new class of type of practice relating to new nuclear power must be Justified before it can be introduced. The Secretary of State, as Justifying Authority, will make this decision.
On 17 December 2008 we published a public consultation on an application from the Nuclear Industry Association for Regulatory Justification of new nuclear power station designs. This consultation closed on 25 March 2009.
Following this consultation, there will be a further consultation later in 2009 on the Secretary of State’s draft decision before he makes his decision early in 2010.
More information is available on the Regulatory Justification webpage.
Generic Design Assessment (GDA), also known as pre-licensing, is intended to ensure that the technical aspects of designs for nuclear power plants are considered ahead of site-specific licence applications.
Regulators – the Environment Agency and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the Health and Safety Executive: Office of Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) - will decide which designs will receive final approval around 2011.
More information is available on the Generic Design Assessment webpage.
Companies will build and operate new nuclear power stations and will be responsible for meeting the full costs of decommissioning and their share of waste management and disposal costs.
Clauses in the Energy Act establish a framework that requires operators of new nuclear power stations to put in place and follow an approved plan for managing and financing waste management and disposal and decommissioning activities.
More information is available on the Waste and Decommissioning Costs webpage.