Westinghouse has submitted an application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for design certification of its AP1000 standard plant design. Westinghouse is hoping to receive design certification from the NRC by the end of 2004.

The NRC said that, if the application is eventually approved, utilities wishing to build and operate a new nuclear plant in the USA could choose to use the design and reference it in a licence application.

“Safety issues within the scope of the certified design are not subject to litigation with respect to that indivual licence application, although site-specific environmental impacts associated with building and operating the plant at a particular location could be.” The NRC will now perform an acceptance review to determine whether the application contains sufficient information to be processed.