The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have each published a number of assessment reports following the completion of their initial assessment of the four nuclear power station designs. They have also published the reports of joint inspections they carried out into the quality management arrangements for each of the companies having their designs assessed.
From 1 January, 2009 we are publishing a series of quarterly reports on the GDA process. The reports, which summarise where we are and highlight the key challenges we face going forward, are part of our drive to increase the public understanding of our role in assessing the safety and security of new nuclear power station designs, and how we are progressing against our overall timeframe.
GDA Metrics are used to measure the progress being made on the GDA Programme. Information is provided by our specialist inspectors, and collated into a metrics 'dashboard'. This 'dashboard' illustrates the progress made, and highlights areas of concern, using a traffic-light colour system. The metrics are updated monthly, and published in the GDA quarterly updates.
As part of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate's (NII) drive to increase the pace of GDA, we are placing work packages with contractors to help us carry out our detailed technical assessment of new nuclear power station designs. We established a framework agreement, including 31 Technical Support Contractors, across a range of 15 technical areas using the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process.
As part of our work to assess the nuclear power stations designs currently going through our Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process, we need to tell them if we judge that a particular feature of the design might not meet UK regulatory standards. We do this by raising regulatory issues.