NRC seeks public comment on design certification regulation for Westinghouse AP1000 advanced reactor design

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2005 — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on a proposed addition to its regulations to certify the Westinghouse AP1000 advanced reactor design. If approved, the certification would allow a utility to reference the design when applying for a nuclear power plant license.

The NRC also invites the public to submit comments on the environmental assessment for the AP1000 design. The assessment will be available through the NRC’s rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov.

Westinghouse submitted an application for certification of the AP1000 standard plant design on March 28, 2002. The AP1000 is a next generation reactor, capable of producing about 1,000 megawatts of electricity. It features enhanced systems that would safely shut down the reactor or lessen the effects of an accident. NRC staff spent more than two years conducting an extensive technical evaluation of the design and issued a final design approval and a final safety evaluation report in September 2004. The final safety evaluation provides the basis for the design certification now being considered for addition to NRC’s regulations (10 CFR 52).

NRC has certified three other standard reactor designs: the General Electric Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, Westinghouse System 80+ and Westinghouse AP600.

Comments must be received within 75 days of publication in the Federal Register to guarantee consideration by the NRC. Comments submitted later than this date may be considered if practical. They can be mailed to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C., 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Comments can be hand-carried to 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md., between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. on federal work days, or they can be faxed to 301-415-1101. In addition, comments can also be submitted through the NRC’s rulemaking Web site at J http://ruleforum.llnl.gov.

More information about the AP1000 review can be found on the NRC’s Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-licensing/design-cert/ap1000.html.

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