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New Toshiba reactor model gets U.S. nod via The Japan Times Online

NRC’s approval paves way for building first nuke plants in 30 years
Bloomberg, AP
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Toshiba Corp.’s AP1000 reactor design, paving the way for the first new reactor construction license to be issued in more than 30 years.

The five-member agency voted unanimously Thursday in favor of certifying the reactor’s design.

Southern Co. and Scana Corp. are seeking permission to use the next-generation reactors to expand nuclear power output at existing sites in Georgia and South Carolina.

The certification “marks an important milestone toward constructing the first U.S. nuclear reactors in three decades,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday in a statement.

The NRC hasn’t given permission to build a new reactor in the U.S. since the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979.

The biggest difference between the AP1000 and existing reactors is its safety systems, including a massive water tank on top of its cylindrical concrete-and-steel shielding building. In case of an accident, water would flow down and cool the steel container that holds critical parts of the reactor — including its hot, radioactive nuclear fuel.

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2 Responses

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  1. norma field says

    There’s astonishing logic presented later in the article: “The NRC decided to waive the normal 30-day waiting period before issuing licenses because Southern had requested a quicker schedule in anticipation that the commission would approve the reactor design, according to a memo by a NRC worker released Thursday.”

    A regulatory body waives a waiting period because the regulatee requests a quicker schedule–in a matter this grave?

    So there’s a water tank on top of the shielding building. To this lay reader, there is nothing in the article explaining what might happen with “prolonged loss of power” after the water in the tank is exhausted–how is more water going to get pumped up?

    Not to mention other unresolved issues, like what to do with spent fuel rods.

  2. entrepreneur says

    New design reactor should be welcomed to reduce the risk of nuclear accidents. China is planing to introduce 50 reactors in future because they are very anxious about the bad effect of thermal power plant and so on. Now China depends on nuclear power a few parentage of total energy supply. They want to increase percentage 7-8 times as much as current level. New technology will help their project.
    At this moment there are about hundred nuclear power plant in America and fifty plant in Japan. On the other hand China has only ten plant. When we think the problem of global warming, China should depend on nuclear power much further instead of thermal power.



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