Your contributions can improve, even transform, initiatives we are involved with. We want to take more account of people's views when we make decisions, so we aim to consult in a way that helps you to help us.
We review the permits we've granted to nuclear sites every four to five years. We consult with the public and many other organisations to seek their views when we do this. We also consult with a wide range of groups when a nuclear site applies for a new permit.
Consultation periods usually last for three months and we advertise them in local newspapers.
Information on nuclear consultations
Understanding and listening to the views of local people is very important. We are working with local people as early as we can, in order to understand their concerns, interests and priorities. We believe our decisions will be stronger as a result of our engagement.
Environmental permitting for new nuclear power stations
We are responsible for key environmental permits relating to construction and operation of nuclear power stations and also for relevant 'associated developments' such as workers accommodation and ‘park and ride’ facilities. Any company that wants to construct and operate a new nuclear power station will need to apply to us for a range of permits, including those for radioactive discharges, cooling water discharges and the operation of emergency stand-by generators.
We will decide if the permits should be issued and what conditions should be applied.
We will be consulting with the public on the applications we receive for operational permits and on our proposed decisions relating to operational permits.
Once the applications are assessed as 'duly made' we will consult on them for 30 days. Once we have carefully considered all of the comments received during these initial consultations we will come to a view about our proposed decisions and consult on these for a period of 12 weeks. We will only make our final decisions after we have carefully considered all the responses we receive.
Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of new nuclear power station designs
In 2007 we and the Office for Nuclear Regulation started working together on a new process that we developed for assessing nuclear power station designs. We call this process ‘Generic Design Assessment’ (GDA).
GDA lets us assess and identify any potential problems with the designs at an early stage so that these can be addressed effectively and efficiently.
We published our preliminary assessment findings in March 2008 and consulted on them. Detailed assessment began in June 2008. We consulted on our findings from June 2010 to October 2010. In December 2011 we issued interim Statements of Design Acceptability (iSoDAs) for the two new reactor designs that we had been assessing. We also published our decision documents setting out and explaining our decisions and responding to the issues raised during our consultations on our findings in 2010. On 13 December 2012 we issued a Statement of Design Acceptability (SoDA) for EDF and Areva’s UK EPR nuclear reactor design. We also published a supplement to our 2011 decision document.
Our GDA consultation has been independently evaluated.