GE Hitachi says it achieved a “key milestone” last month when it completed submission of the design certification document for its ESBWR to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The design certification application was submitted on 31 August but has yet to be formally accepted or docketed by the NRC.

Two US utilities, Detroit Edison of Michigan and Dominion Energy of Virginia have referenced the ESBWR reactor design in their COL applications. The ESBWR was also Entergy’s design choice for its Grand Gulf and River Bend projects however earlier this year the utility announced plans for a review into its choice of reactor technology and asked the NRC to suspend the COL review.

In a 9 September statement the GEH said that data from the NRC’s review of the 1520MWe Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor design “will support GEH’s future project opportunities in Europe and other regions.”

Earlier in 2009, GEH signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering resources in manufacturing and construction management for a potential multiple-unit project in India. The MOU is with Nuclear Power Corporation of India, the country’s only nuclear utility, which operates 17 reactors. GEH is already active in Asia. Four ABWRs are operating in Japan, with four more under construction in Japan and Taiwan.

GEH said that the ESBWR design offers advanced safety features and cost-saving advantages that will be key to delivering the next generation of nuclear reactors worldwide. It said it believes the ESBWR’s features “make it the most advanced reactor design in the world”.

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