NRC Issues Final Safety Evaluation Report for AP1000

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved design changes for Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor, the company said Tuesday, moving the AP1000 toward final approval and use at several new nuclear sites in the U.S.

AP1000, Source: Westinghouse"We're in the home stretch to receive final approval of the amended AP1000 design," Westinghouse Electric Company CEO Aris Candris said in a release. "It's been a long and highly transparent process that has included much public participation, as well as additional scrutiny of the design by the NRC staff and others. We're happy that the NRC technical staff has approved the amended design and confident that the NRC commissioners will do the same."

In a report to be made public later this week, the NRC granted the design a positive Final Safety Evaluation Report, one of the last steps in the licensing process. The AP1000 already attained design certification in 2006 but has since been modified to conform with new NRC requirements, including shield-building aircraft impact resistance. According to the Westinghouse release, the AP1000 will move into the final rulemaking stage now that the review of the last revision of the Design Control Document (DCD), “includes the NRC staff's evaluation and ultimate concurrence with all AP1000 design changes included in the latest DCD.”

Combined construction and operating licenses for six new AP1000 units in the U.S. hinge on the design certification, including units at the V.C. Summer and Vogtle plants where construction has begun. Once complete, each unit will generate 1,117 megawatts per hour using a pressurized water reactor featuring multiple passive safety systems.

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