Westinghouse Electric Company received notification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it is issuing its Final Safety Evaluation Report on the AP1000 pressurized water reactor (PWR) design in the current design certification amendment proceeding.
The report, which is slated for public issuance later this week, comes after Westinghouse submitted design changes in Revision 18 of the AP1000 Design Control Document (DCD), a public review and comment period, and a confirmatory Revision 19 of the DCD that resolved all remaining confirmatory items and technical issues. The AP1000 FSER includes the NRC Staff’s evaluation and ultimate concurrence with all AP1000 design changes included in the latest DCD and now the amended design moves into the final rulemaking stage for granting of Design Certification.
“We’re in the home stretch to receive final approval of the amended AP1000 design,” said Aris Candris, president and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Company. “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 so construction of AP1000 units can begin here in the U.S.”
This is the second time through the Design Certification process for the AP1000 PWR design. The NRC officially granted Design Certification to the AP1000 in 2006. Since then, the AP1000 design has been modified to meet new and additional NRC requirements, including those that require the design to withstand the impact of an aircraft crash on its shield building. The shield building, a steel reinforced concrete structure that’s approximately 3-foot thick, protects the steel containment vessel that houses the reactor vessel. Both the shield building and the containment vessel play significant roles in the passive safety systems of the AP1000 design, which allow it to safely shutdown with no, or minimal operator action and no AC power.
Utilities in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida have chosen the AP1000 design in their combined construction and operating license (COL) applications to construct six AP1000 units. Once each utility is granted a COL by the NRC, each new plant will create approximately 2,000 to 3,000 onsite jobs and hundreds of support jobs during construction. The positive impact on America’s manufacturing and construction industries will be significant, with materials and labor expected to be provided from more than 20 states. New or expanded American manufacturing centers geared to support these projects have opened recently in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Minnesota.
Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY: 6502), is the world’s pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States.