PLANS for a new power station at Oldbury-on-Severn have taken a big step forward with the approval of a new kind of reactor in the UK.

The ABWR (Advanced Boiling Water Reactor), which has been successfully built and operated by Horizon Nuclear Power, is set to be installed in both the Oldbury and Wylfa Newydd sites in Wales that have been proposed by the group.

These projects are set to create tens of thousands of jobs and ultimately provide more than 5.4GW of clean, secure and affordable electricity, enough to power some 10 million homes.

Approval marks the conclusion of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA), a rigorous technology assessment by the UK regulators, which has been delivered in part through the close collaboration of the Hitachi-GE, Horizon and GE-Hitachi team.

Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon CEO, said: “This is a huge milestone for Horizon and a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK.

“Nuclear can deliver high volumes of stable low carbon energy, which makes it a vital part of the country’s electricity mix and once up and running, both Wylfa Newydd and our Oldbury site will supply clean, reliable power to the UK for decades to come.

“It’s testament to the strength of the combined team, and the proven nature of the technology, that the GDA process has been completed and delivered on time.”

Tadashi Kume, president and representative director of Hitachi-GE, said: “Meeting the famously high standards of the UK regulators and completing GDA within our five year target further demonstrates the strength of this project, and capability of the team delivering it.

“GDA is a thorough and rigorous assessment, and receiving approval on schedule is a credit to the outstanding design of the UK ABWR.

“Since 2012, we have been the subject of extensive assessment and scrutiny by the regulators. Throughout this process, their expertise and professionalism has been second to none.”

Energy minister Richard said the announcement was “a major milestone for the development of new innovative nuclear plants in the UK”.

He said: “As we set out in our Industrial Strategy, we are putting the UK at the forefront of future technologies which have the potential to create value and jobs across the UK. Horizon Nuclear Power’s nuclear technology is one example of this.”