AP600 Clears Another Hurdle
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the Final Safety Evaluation Report for the Westinghouse Electric Co. AP600 nuclear power plant. Final Design Approval (FDA) is anticipated this fall, following review bythe NRC Commissioners and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. Receipt of the final approval will position the AP600 for orders in the worldwide nuclear power market.
“The result of this effort, which encompasses more than 1,300 man years of testing, design engineering, research and analysis, is a comprehensive thorough document that confirms the integrity of the AP600 design,” said Dr. Charles W. Pryor, Jr., Westinghouse president and CEO.
The technology is designed to provide nuclear energy at costs competitive with other energy sources. The design requires 50 percent fewer valves, 80 percent less piping, 70 percent less control cable and 35 percent fewer pumps than conventional nuclear reactors. As a result, the units can be built faster than conventional reactors, with Westinghouse estimating construction times of less than 36 months.
The design uses advanced safety systems with emphasis on the use of natural forces suchas gravity, natural circulation,convection, evaporation and condensation. The projected capital cost for a twin-unit plant is up to 30 percent less than for conventional reactors. p