WASHINGTON—Dr. Shirley Jackson, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, today marked her agency's final approval of Westinghouse Electric Co.'s AP600 reactor design in an award ceremony at the NRC. Today's event marks the agency's third approval of a design for a next-generation nuclear power plant. Only an administrative review-in the form a regulatory rulemaking-is required to complete the licensing of the AP600 design. The following is a statement by Joe F. Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, in response to today's NRC action.
"Approval of Westinghouse's AP600 completes the nuclear industry's drive to engineer standardized, next-generation nuclear plant designs that will compete in world and U.S. markets and maintain America's global leadership in safe, clean nuclear-energy technology.
"U.S. nuclear engineers have drawn on the lessons learned in more than 40 years of experience. These advanced designs build on proven technology and are being built and operated overseas. The NRC's review of the AP600, and the opportunity for public input that follows, resolve important design and operating issues up front and allow the design to be certified before a plant is built. This approach to licensing will shorten plant construction schedules and reduce costs to prospective buyers.
"Nuclear energy has already proven its environmental value by significantly reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide—the leading greenhouse gas—and pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act. The development of next-generation nuclear plant designs helps ensure that future generations can enjoy cleaner air as well as the abundant electricity supply critical to meeting the needs of a rapidly growing world population."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.