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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 07:02 PM

46. Secretary Chu Statement on AP1000 Reactor Design Certification

http://energy.gov/articles/secretary-chu-statement-ap1000-reactor-design-certification
[font face=Times, Serif][font size=5]Secretary Chu Statement on AP1000 Reactor Design Certification [/font]

[font size=3]December 22, 2011 - 3:25pm

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement today in support of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to certify Westinghouse Electric’s AP1000 nuclear reactor design, a significant step towards constructing a new generation of U.S. nuclear reactors. In February 2010, the Obama Administration announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $8.33 billion loan guarantee for the construction and operation of two AP1000 reactors at Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generation Plant in Burke, Georgia.

“The Administration and the Energy Department are committed to restarting America’s nuclear industry – creating thousands of jobs in the years ahead and powering our nation’s homes and businesses with domestic, low-carbon energy,” said Secretary Chu. “Today’s decision certifying the AP1000 reactor design marks an important milestone towards constructing the first U.S. nuclear reactors in three decades.”

[font size=4]BACKGROUND INFORMATION[/font]

The Energy Department’s offer of a conditional commitment supports two new 1,100 megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Vogtle plant, supplementing the two existing reactor units at the facility. The project is expected to create approximately 3,500 onsite construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs once the reactors become operational.

The Energy Department has also engaged in cost-share agreements with industry to provide technical assistance and application support for new reactor design certification, including for the Westinghouse AP1000. These efforts have served to help American companies lead the way in obtaining certification and licensing approvals, helping to streamline these processes for future investments in the U.S. nuclear industry. [/font][/font]


http://www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/

http://www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/ap1000_safety.html
[font face=Times, Serif][font size=3]



The AP1000® pressurized water reactor works on the simple concept that, in the event of a design-basis accident (such as a coolant pipe break), the plant is designed to achieve and maintain safe shutdown condition without any operator action and without the need for ac power or pumps. Instead of relying on active components such as diesel generators and pumps, the AP1000 relies on the natural forces of gravity, natural circulation and compressed gases to keep the core and containment from overheating. However, many active components are included in the AP1000, but are designated as non safety-related.

Multiple levels of defense for accident mitigation are provided, resulting in extremely low core-damage probabilities while minimizing occurrences of containment flooding, pressurization and heat-up.

The AP1000 meets the U.S. NRC deterministic-safety and probabilistic-risk criteria with large margins. Results of the Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) show a very low core damage frequency (CDF) that is 1/100 of the CDF of currently operating plants and 1/20 of the maximum CDF deemed acceptable for new, advanced reactor designs.

The following features contribute to defense-in-depth of the AP1000:

Non-Safety Systems
Passive Safety-Related Systems
In-vessel Retention of Core Damage
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