Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) on 26 August received a design certificate for its APR-1400 reactor from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The certification is valid for 15 years and states that the NRC finds the reactor design fully acceptable for US use. KHNP originally submitted the design to NRC in September 2013 and then submitted a revised version of the application in December 2014. NRC completed an acceptance check in March 2015 and ruled that the revised application was sufficient to undertake a full design certification review.
The APR-1400 obtained the Standard Design Approval from NRC in September 2018 and the design was certified on 30 April this year. It then took 120 days this to be listed in the appendix of the US Code of Federal Regulations. The APR-1400 also was granted European design certification in October 2018. In Korea, it is used at the four units of Shin-Kori NPP and two units at Shin Hanul plant. Construction of the first two APR-1400s at Shin Kori units 3 and 4 began in October 2008 and August 2009. Four APR-1400 units are under construction at the Barakah NPP in the United Arab Emirates.
The APR-1400 is an evolutionary pressurised water reactor based on the CE System 80+ model. It was designed by Korea Engineering Company and has a 60-year design life. It supercedes the standardised 995 MWe OPR-1400 design, 12 of which have been built in South Korea. The APR-1400 features improvements in operation, safety, maintenance and affordability based on accumulated experience as well as technological development. Design certification by the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety was awarded in May 2003.
The APR-1400 is the first non-US nuclear reactor to be certified by NRC. Five other standard reactor designs have been certified: General Electric's Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR); Westinghouse's System 80+, AP600 and AP1000; and, GE's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor. NRC is also reviewing applications to certify Mitsubishi's US Advanced Pressurised Water Reactor (US-APWR) and the NuScale small modular reactor. NRC staff are also reviewing an application to renew the ABWR certification.