• Reuters

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GE and Hitachi have cleared the next regulatory hurdle toward permission for the use of their joint nuclear reactor design in Britain after the government awarded it a so-called regulatory justification.

Hitachi plans to build up to five UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at two different nuclear sites it owns in Britain, but the use of the reactor requires a number of regulatory approvals.

Britain’s secretary of state for energy, Ed Davey, announced late on Thursday he had granted regulatory justification to the ABWR design, a step required under European Union law.

“There is a clear need for the generation of electricity by the nuclear reactor design to which the decision relates, because of the contribution its deployment can make to the new nuclear programme,” Davey said in a statement.

The reactor design requires various other approvals, including a positive outcome of the so-called General Design Assessment, carried out jointly by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency.

Their detailed assessment started in January and is expected to finish by the end of 2017.

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