APR1400 accepted for design certification

05 March 2015

US design certification of Korea's APR1400 reactor design can begin in earnest after the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) formally accepted a revised application from Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP).

APR1400 plant - 460 (KHNP)
An artist's impression of how a twin-unit APR1400 plant could appear (Image: KHNP)

KEPCO and KHNP began the process of seeking NRC approval for the APR1400 design in 2013, submitting a revised version of its application in December 2014. The NRC has now completed an acceptance check and ruled that the revised application is sufficiently complete for it to undertake a full design certification review.

The design certification process determines whether a reactor design meets US safety requirements, independent of any specific site or plan to build. It is a required step before a reactor design can be built in the USA, as it can be referenced in construction and operation licence (COL) applications for specific reactor projects. Certifications are valid for 15 years. The most recent design to receive NRC approval is GE-Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), which received its certification in September 2014.

The APR1400 design accepted for review by the NRC is a 1400 MWe pressurized water reactor based on the Korean Optimized Power Reactor 1000, with advanced design features to enhance plant safety, economic efficiency and ease of operation and maintenance. The NRC says it will provide a review schedule in the near future.

Four APR1400s are under construction in South Korea, the first of which, Shin Kori 3, is expected to start operations in early 2015. Construction has also begun on three of the four APR1400s planned at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates. All four are scheduled to be in operation by 2020.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News