NRC approves new South Korean advanced nuclear reactor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is giving its thumbs up to certify a new reactor designed by Korea Electric Power Corp. and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power. The Advanced Power Reactor 1400, or APR1400, is designed to produce 1,400 MW and features enhanced systems for safely shutting down the reactor in the case of an accident, according to the NRC statement.

Absent challenges, the rule will become effective 120 days following its publication in the Federal Register, the NRC announced this week.

“Full certification allows a utility to reference the design when applying for a combined license to build and operate a nuclear power plant,” the NRC announcement reads. “The NRC has certified five other designs: the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, System 80+, AP600, AP1000, and the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor.”

NRC staff is currently reviewing applications for two other new nuclear reactor designs, including the NuScale small modular reactor and the U.S. advanced pressurized water reactor developed by Mitsubishi.

Korea Electric Power and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power submitted the design application to the NRC in December 2014. There is one APR1400 unit in operation at South Korea’s Kori plant and others under construction in that nation and United Arab Emirates.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. Nuclear power will be part of the content offered at POWERGEN happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans).



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