US design certification sought for APR-1400

11 October 2013

As South Korea seeks new export markets for its nuclear technology, an application for design certification of its Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400) has been submitted to the US nuclear regulator.

APR-1400 cutaway 460 (Doosan)
A cut-away of a plant based on the APR-1400 (Image: Doosan)

Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) and its subsidiary Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) submitted the design to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on 30 September. KHNP noted that it had eleven pre-application review meetings with the NRC since April 2010.

The NRC will review the documentation, and, if it seems complete, accept it and begin a thorough review. The result would be design certification, which would approve the design's safety independent of any specific site or plan to build. This is a necessary step before the APR-1400 plant could be built in the USA.

The APR-1400 is an evolutionary pressurized water reactor with its origins in the CE System 80+ model. Principally designed by Korea Engineering Company (Kopec), it produces 1400 MWe and has a 60-year design life. Construction times are expected to be 48 months. Design certification by the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety was awarded in May 2003.

Four APR-1400 units are under construction in Korea: two at Shin Kori and two at Shin Hanul. Four further APR-1400 units are planned for Shin Kori and another two at Shin Hanul.

The APR-1400 was selected as the basis of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) nuclear power program, with the first four reactors to be operating at Barakah by 2020 under a $20.4 billion contract. Construction of the first two units is underway.

The NRC has already certified four standard reactor designs: General Electric (GE) Nuclear Energy's Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR); Westinghouse's System 80+; Westinghouse's AP600; and Westinghouse's AP1000. It is currently reviewing four other designs: the GE's ESBWR; an amended version of the AP1000; Mitsubishi's US Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (US-APWR); and Areva's EPR.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News