PITTSBURGH, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Company is today proud to announce that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has granted the Design Certification Amendment to its AP1000® pressurized water reactor design. The granting of such certification is the foundation upon which utilities will construct AP1000 units here in the United States.
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"The road to receiving Design Certification has been long and sometimes arduous," said Aris Candris, president and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Company. "But we've reached our final destination and the feeling of success can be felt by Westinghouse employees around the world. Now, our U.S. customers are one step closer to constructing AP1000 units and putting thousands to work to ultimately provide future generations with safe, clean and reliable electricity."
Utilities in Georgia and South Carolina have been waiting for the granting of AP1000 Design Certification so that each can move ahead with its combined construction and operating license (COL) applications. Once the NRC grants each utility a COL, approximately 3,000 jobs will be created for each construction site, positively impacting America's manufacturing and construction industries with materials and labor expected to be provided from more than 20 states. It's estimated that approximately 35,000 jobs will be positively affected by the construction of just two AP1000 units here in the United States.
"The AP1000 is the reactor design that will set the foundation for the next generation of nuclear plants in the U.S.," said Marilyn Kray, president of NuStart Energy Development LLC, a consortium of electric utilities and reactor vendors that worked under the Department of Energy's NP2010 program to demonstrate the design certification and licensing of advanced nuclear reactors. "We are excited to see it move forward on the path envisioned seven years ago."
The ultimate granting of Design Certification by the NRC Commissioners acknowledges the recommendation of the NRC Staff that the AP1000 design is safe and meets all regulatory requirements, a conclusion drawn after a highly rigorous technical review process, public scrutiny, and an independent assessment by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. It is the second time that the AP1000 design has gone through the rule-making process to receive Design Certification, the first certification being granted in 2006.
Since 2006, 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, a steel reinforced concrete structure approximately 3 feet thick that protects the steel containment vessel, which houses the reactor. 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 shut down with no, or minimal, operator action and no AC power. The innovative passive safety design was recognized by the NRC as providing significant added capability that allows the plant to safely cope with a Fukushima-type event, a significant reason why the NRC Near-term Task Force Review of Insights from the Fukushima-Daiichi Accident recommended the granting of Design Certification to the AP1000 design without delay.
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.
For more information about Westinghouse Electric Company, visit its website at www.westinghousenuclear.com
For more information about the AP1000, visit its website at www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com
SOURCE Westinghouse Electric Company LLC