EU-APWR passes EUR assessment

22 October 2014

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI's) European version of its Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (EU-APWR) has been formally certified as compliant by the European Utility Requirements (EUR) organisation.

The EU-APWR (Image: MHI)

The EU-APWR is based on the 1538 MWe APWR planned for units 3 and 4 of Japan Atomic Power Co's Tsuruga nuclear power plant. However, the reactor will feature design changes that reflect the demands of European customers for enhanced performance. The proposed enhancements include a thermal efficiency of 39%, a 20% reduction in "plant building volume", 24-month fuel cycle lengths, and increasing the unit's capacity to 1700 MWe.

Following a two-year assessment, which involved looking at over 4000 individual requirements, EUR has now concluded that the EU-APWR indicates "good compliance." It noted, "The requirements which are not in compliance with EUR are less than 2%.

The EUR requirements cover a broad range of conditions for a nuclear power plant to operate efficiently and safely. They include such areas as plant layout, systems, materials, components, probabilistic safety assessment methodology and availability assessment. Although still requiring regulatory design approval in each country, EUR compliance indicates that the reactor design meets a list of requirements set by the utilities for the next generation of light water reactors (LWRs).

"The divergences between the EU-APWR standard design and the EUR concern different areas as, for instance, layout, operational capability and performance, outage operations, personal protection and radiation monitoring," EUR said. It noted that some of these discrepancies are due to "a different approach to the design process or by differences between the rules and standards in use in Japan and in Europe."

MHI's EU-APWR is the fourth reactor design so far to be certified by the EUR. Areva's EPR was certified in July 2009. In May 2007, the Westinghouse AP1000 was certified, while AtomStroyExport's AES-92 advanced semi-passive VVER-1000 design was awarded a similar certificate the previous month.

The EUR effort was launched in December 1991 by several European utilities to produce a common set of utility requirements endorsed by major European utilities for the next generation of LWR nuclear power plants. It was modelled on the US Electric Power Research Institute's Utility Requirements Document for advanced LWRs.

EUR currently has 15 members, including EDF of France, Iberdrola of Spain, Rosenergoatom of Russia and TVO of Finland.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News