The World Nuclear News of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) reports that on September 30, 2013, South Korea has submitted an application to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for design certification of its 1400 MWe nuclear power reactor (APR-1400). The WNA quoted Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) as saying that it had eleven pre-application review meetings with the NRC since April 2010.
According to the WNA “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 WNA stated that the APR-1400, a 1400 MWe designed by Korea Engineering Company (Kopec) is an evolutionary pressurized water reactor with its origins in the CE System 80+ model and has a 60-year design life. With a construction time expected to be 48 months, it may become a game changer in nuclear industry. Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety certified the design in May 2003.
South Korea has an ambitious programme to build several APR 1400s. 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 WNA recalled that 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.
Once certified by US NRC, APR 1400 will join the other similar nuclear industry marvels such as General Electric (GE) Nuclear Energy’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor(ABWR); Westinghouse’s System 80+; Westinghouse’s AP600; and Westinghouse’s AP1000 .