• Home
  • News
  • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Seeks to Renew License for World's Only Generation III Reactor Design in Operation

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Seeks to Renew License for World's Only Generation III Reactor Design in Operation

  • Originally Certified in 1997, GEH Submits Application with NRC to Extend ABWR License 15 Years
  • GEH's ABWR is the First ‘Gen III' Model with Proven Construction and Operating Experience
  • GEH's ABWR Certification Renewal Fully Addresses the New NRC Requirements for Aircraft Impact Assessment

WILMINGTON, N.C.-December 8, 2010-GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced it has submitted its application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to renew the certification for its proven Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology. Among its benefits, the ABWR design provides greater certainty over the costs for building new nuclear power plants.

GEH is seeking to extend the design certification for 15 years beyond June 2012, when its original ABWR certification is set to expire. The application includes an important design update to reflect the current NRC requirement for an aircraft impact assessment.

“The GEH ABWR technology remains the world's only Generation III design in operation,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president, nuclear plant projects for GEH. “Our renewal application demonstrates our commitment to the proven ABWR product and our confidence in our long-term growth prospects as many utilities are still evaluating their future power supply needs, project costs, energy prices and other market factors.”

GEH believes that its 1,350 plus-megawatt ABWR also remains the only Generation III model with proven construction, licensing and operating experience. Four ABWRs are operating in Japan, and the global nuclear alliance is building four more units in Japan and Taiwan. “Having ABWRs that have just started construction through those in startup for plant operation gives us a wide range of experience in new plant construction to continue our legacy of over 50 years of building new units around the world without ever stopping,” Roderick said.

With a single reactor project representing an investment of several billion dollars, a reactor model's certification status, construction costs and operating experience combined with a supplier's capability to construct, provide fuel for and service these new plants after they are online are among the key factors a utility considers before selecting a specific technology.

In 1997, GEH's ABWR became the first Generation III reactor model to be certified for U.S. construction. More than 13 years later, international construction and operating experience allow GEH to offer utilities maximum project cost and schedule certainty, combined with the latest in Generation III safety features. As a result, “the design is ideally suited for utilities seeking to add near-term nuclear capacity,” Roderick said.

The NRC must next docket, or accept, GEH's renewal application to begin its formal review.

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.

For more information, contact:

Michael Tetuan
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
+1 910 819 7055
michael.tetuan@ge.com

Tom Murnane or Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations
+1 518 786 6488
tom.murnane@mastopr.com
howard.masto@ge.com