NRC Says It Will Certify APR1400 Design

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it had issued a direct final rule to certify the Korean-designed APR1400 reactor, which will become effective 120 after it appears in the Federal Register.

APR1400 reactorsThe agency said it would certify Korea Electric Power Corp., and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power’s Advanced Power Reactor 1400 with a certification that will be good for 15 years. The certification allows that the APR1400 was fully acceptable for deployment in the United States.

The two companies submitted the design application for the reactor December 23, 2014. The reactor, as designed, would produce approximately 1,400 megawatts of electricity with a reactor that features enhanced systems to safely shut down the reactor or mitigate the effects of an accident.

There is little market pressure at this time for the APR1400 reactor in the United States. There are no current construction plans that will make use of this certification.

Currently, there are two APR-1400 in operation or near-operation in South Korea at the Shin Kori Power Plant. The first (Shin Kori 3) began commercial operation in late 2015. the second (Shin Kori 4) is expected to begin commercial operations sometime this year. That reactor reached first criticality April 8.

There are four other APR-1400 in development in South Korea, Shin Kori 5 and 6 and Shin Hanul 1 and 2. Four others are under construction in the United Arab Emirate at the Barakah facility. Baraka Unit 1 is expected to begin commercial operations sometime next year.

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