Westinghouse has received Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) certification for its AP600 advanced light water reactor design. Following NRC approval the design is now fully licensed for construction and operation throughout the world.
Westinghouse describes the AP600 as “the safest, most economical nuclear plant ever designed.” The design emphasises passive safety systems such as convection and gravity flow of emergency cooling water, reducing dependence on pumps, valves and emergency generators.
Westinghouse claims the plant can be built within 36 months, with costs up to 30% cheaper than other designs. As prospects for new plant build in the US are not good, Westinghouse is targeting China as a potential buyer.
The NRC has already licenced two advanced reactor designs, General Electric’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor and ABB – Combustion Engineering’s System 80+.