AN energy company has vowed to listen carefully to the community before drawing up proposals for a new power station at Bradwell.

It was announced on Tuesday that the Government had asked nuclear regulators process of approving a Chinese-designed reactor for a new power plant.

The China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and EDF Energy submitted a joint application to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in October last year.

The Government has now asked nuclear regulators to begin the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) on the Chinese HPR1000 reactor known as Bradwell B.

Work could begin by 2023.

The Government’s request marks a key step in the development of a power station in Bradwell.

The proposed Bradwell project is still in an early pre- planning stage, which will involve years of investigative works and public consultations before detailed proposals are produced allowing a planning application to be made.

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy Nuclear New Build MD said: “EDF will bring invaluable experience gained from the approval process for Hinkley Point C’s EPR reactors and from our continuing work with the UK’s independent regulators.

“Both EDF and CGN will also be listening carefully to the community around Bradwell before we draw up detailed proposals for the development of the new power station.”

Miriam Lewis, leader of Maldon District Council, has praised the latest announcement.

She said: “We welcome the news that the Government has confirmed that the Generic Design Assessment for the HPR1000 can begin for Bradwell.

“In September 2016, the Secretary of State confirmed Government’s decision to proceed with Hinkley Point C, as part of a three-project deal including Sizewell and Bradwell.

“Since then, we have been eagerly awaiting the start date for the GDA process to take us a step closer to major investment in the Maldon District, bringing good quality employment, training opportunities for our young people and prosperity into the future.”