License applications for Dominion’s proposed North Anna reactor in Virginia and Luminant’s two proposed reactors at Comanche Peak, in Texas—the two U.S. facilities that have chosen Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI’s) Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (APWR)—will be delayed by more than 18 months. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said structural changes made by MHI to its reactor design require a lengthened review time.
The NRC sent separate letters to Luminant and Dominion telling the companies that structural changes to the US-APWR design by MHI required a new seismic analysis. “MHI proposed a number of new strategies for expediting the resolution of the remaining technical issues associated with the review of the DC application. MHI also proposed a number of schedule improvements based on the implementation of the new strategies,” the agency wrote. “The NRC staff believes that it would be premature at this time to make any schedule improvements until the proposed strategies are implemented and proven to be effective.”
MHI submitted a standard design certification application for its US-APWR on December 31, 2007. Last month the company “proposed a number of new strategies for expediting the resolution of the remaining technical issues associated with the review of the design certification (DC) application," the NRC said.
The delay means a safety review of Luminant’s Comanche Peak Units 3 and 4 will be finalized in June 2013—not December this year, as had been planned. A safety review for Dominion’s North Anna plant will take place in July 2013, instead of February 2011. Dominion had initially chosen GE-Hitachi’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) for the project.
On Monday, meanwhile, NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko was widely quoted as saying that approvals of other reactor designs under review at the federal body could be made in the coming months—as early as this summer. These include Westinghouse’s AP1000, and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s advanced boiling water reactor and ESBWR (see related story on the ESBWR in this issue).
Sources: POWERnews, NRC Luminant, Dominion,