MHI touts European version of APWR

18 March 2008

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) plans to launch a version of its Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (APWR) specifically for the European market. The company held a seminar in Brussels to discuss the EU-APWR project with European utilities.


The EU-APWR design (Image: MHI)

MHI said that the reactor design will meet the European Utility Requirements (EUR) for light-water reactors, which have been developed by a group of 16 European electricity generators since the early 1990s. The set of requirements aims to harmonize the conditions of development and deployment of Generation III reactors to be constructed in Europe. The requirements cover such areas as safety, security, performance, quality and design.

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.

At the seminar in Brussels, held 13-14 March, MHI presented the results of a preliminary analysis of compliance of the APWR design with the EUR requirements. The meeting was attended by representatives from 13 utilities participating in EUR. MHI intends to solicit several EUR utilities to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the EU-APWR with the EUR requirements. The company plans to promote the EU-APWR to European utilities in parallel with the EUR compliance assessment.

In the USA, MHI submitted its application a US-specific version of its APWR with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on 31 December 2007. The NRC has subjected the application to an acceptance review for completeness and technical sufficiency. The US version of the reactor will also have a capacity of 1700 MWe.