MRO Magazine

Westinghouse Advances SMR Design Certificate with USNRC Approval for Safety Testing Program

March 17, 2015
By Business Wire News


Westinghouse Electric Company today announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the company’s testing approach for the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design. The NRC approval is a significant step toward design certification and will reduce the time ultimately needed to license the Westinghouse SMR.

“A key benefit of the Westinghouse SMR design is that it is based on the solid foundation of the AP1000® plant development program. This Westinghouse program has involved many years of testing and analysis, which can be successfully applied to advance our SMR program as the market for the technology matures in the future,” said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president, New Plants and Major Projects.

In a letter dated February 27, 2015, the NRC told Westinghouse that it has granted a Safety Evaluation Report (SER) for the licensing topical report that the company submitted in April 2012 for agency review and approval. Westinghouse believes the NRC action confirms the technical maturity of the Westinghouse SMR concept design, Benjamin said.

The topical report, developed by a panel of experts inside and outside of Westinghouse, identified what would occur in the unlikely event of a small-break loss of coolant accident (LOCA) in the Westinghouse SMR. It also defined the test program that Westinghouse will conduct in the future to prove that its safety systems would safely shut down the reactor in response to a small-break LOCA.

As a major technical innovation, the potential for intermediate- and large-break LOCAs is eliminated in the Westinghouse SMR design because there are no large primary penetrations of the reactor vessel or large loop piping.

The Westinghouse SMR is a 225 MWe integral pressurized water reactor with all primary components located inside of the reactor vessel. It is the company’s next product innovation, utilizing passive safety systems and proven components to provide safe, clean and reliable electricity. The Westinghouse SMR is derived from the AP1000 plant, which received a design certification amendment from the NRC in 2011. Eight AP1000 units are currently under construction at four sites in the United States and China.

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world’s pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. AP1000 is a trademark of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC. All rights reserved.

Westinghouse Communications
Sheila Holt, +1-412-374-6379