AP1000 Maintains Robustness and is Safe

The US Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) has concluded that changes proposed in the AP1000® Design Control Document (DCD) amendment, including those made in Revision 19, maintain the robustness of the previously certified design and that the revised design can be built and operated without undue risk to the health and safety of the public.  

In a formal letter from the ACRS to Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the ACRS states that it agrees with the NRC Staff’s Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) for the AP1000 DCD amendment.  The AP1000 FSER includes the NRC Staff’s evaluation and ultimate concurrence with all AP1000 design changes included in the latest DCD.  Conclusion that the AP1000 design is safe and meets all regulatory requirements comes after several meetings and discussions with representatives of the NRC Staff, Westinghouse Electric Company, and members of the public.

“Once again, the independent ACRS has concluded that our AP1000 is an extremely robust design capable of withstanding severe events,” said Dr. Aris Candris, president and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Company.  “The AP1000 takes safety to an extremely high level, and we are highly confident that the NRC Commissioners will expeditiously grant Design Certification Amendment so that construction of AP1000 units can begin and put many thousands of people to work here in the United States.”

Since the first granting of Design Certification in 2006 by the NRC, 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-feet 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.

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