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DOE, WESTINGHOUSE MEET MILESTONE IN ADVANCED REACTORS PROGRAM

DOE, WESTINGHOUSE MEET MILESTONE IN ADVANCED REACTORS PROGRAM
 WASHINGTON, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Energy (DOE) and Westinghouse Electric Corp. (NYSE: WX) today submitted a 7,300-page document to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) aimed at assuring the nation of the safety of a new generation of nuclear power plants that could be built by the end of the decade.
 Nathaniel D. Woodson, vice president and general manager of the Westinghouse energy systems business unit, said the completion of the safety analysis report is a major milestone on the way to building the world's first passively safe nuclear power plant. He said Westinghouse's AP600 model of a mid-size, passively safe light-water reactor plant is ahead of competing models in the design and safety review process.
 "Developing and licensing advanced, standardized nuclear plants that are more economical than today's plants is essential to meeting the national strategy to provide America electric power at the beginning of the 21st century," Woodson said.
 "The AP600 is the first advanced nuclear plant that responds to utilities' needs and preferences for a mid-sized reactor that is passively safe. It can provide America abundant and environmentally clean electric power in the near term.
 "The two important steps toward constructing an AP600 are completion of design certification and first-of-a-kind engineering," he continued. "The electric utility industry is in the process of selecting designs for first-of-a-kind engineering to achieve commercially standardized plants, and we are confident the AP600 will be the industry's major choice."
 Howard Bruschi, Westinghouse director of nuclear plant programs, said the Standard Safety Analysis Report, or SSAR, presented to the NRC today provides an in-depth description and safety analysis of the entire AP600 plant. "In describing plant safety features in complete detail, the SSAR will cover the safety-significant elements of both the nuclear steam supply system and balance of plant features," Bruschi said.
 As part of the advanced light-water reactor development program launched during the Reagan administration, DOE notified Westinghouse in 1989 that it had selected the AP600 to receive $50 million in matching funds to complete the plant design and analysis to obtain design certification. The DOE San Francisco field office awarded the contract in 1990. The safety report submitted today is the major element of the application for design certification.
 Westinghouse committed to meeting today's schedule three years ago, and DOE and Westinghouse have set the goal of full design certification for the AP600 by mid-1995. NRC review of the comprehensive report -- its 18 chapters in 14 volumes require more than 3 feet of shelf space -- is the next step in that process.
 The SSAR also includes a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) of the AP600, Bruschi said. PRA work to date indicates that the AP600 design, including its passive features, will meet or exceed regulatory and industry requirements, he said.
 In the AP600, the selection of materials and location of systems such as the safety injection water tanks make it possible to use the laws of nature -- gravity, evaporation, condensation and natural heat convection -- to assure the public's safety at all times, with or without immediate operator intervention.
 This approach significantly simplifies the plant design and reduces capital costs for the AP600 by reducing the number of components and also eliminating substantial quantities of cable, concrete and piping. Eliminating equipment also reduces operating and maintenance expenses. In addition, the program to manufacture most of the 600-megawatt plant's systems in modules that can be built in factories and assembled at the plant site will shorten construction time and reduce interest during construction. The entire AP600 will be able to be built, from contract signing to first power, in five years.
 Last week, the National Research Council released its report, "Nuclear Power: Technical and Institutional Options for the Future," and cited mid-sized light-water reactors with passive safety features as the only advanced nuclear plant design that can be ready in the near term that should receive federal financial support.
 "The National Research Council report confirms the opinion of three out of four U.S. utilities that have said they favor mid-size, passive reactors such as the AP600 for the future," Woodson said.
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Henderson of Westinghouse Electric, in Pittsburgh, 412-642-3117/
 (WX) CO: U.S. Department of Energy; Westinghouse Electric Corp. ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU:


DM -- PG002 -- 4159 06/26/92 11:00 EDT
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Date:Jun 26, 1992
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