Nuclear reactor design certification approved by NRC

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a final rule amending the 1,350 MW Toshiba Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) design certification to address the effects of the impact of a large commercial aircraft.

NRC directed its staff to publish the final rule for STP Nuclear Operating Co., which submitted an application to amend the ABWR design in June 2009. The rule certifies that STPNOC’s option for the design accounts for aircraft impact effects. The company will use two of the reactors for units 3 and 4 at the existing 2,700 MW South Texas Project nuclear power plant near Bay City, Texas.

The NRC certified the original ABWR design in 1997.  NRC also issued an order in February 2002 requiring all existing nuclear power plants to develop and adopt strategies to cope with fires and explosions from any cause, including the instance of an airplane crash, then updated the rule in March 2009 to include existing and future nuclear power plants.

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