NRC’s approval paves way for building first nuke plants in 30 years
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.
Continue reading at New Toshiba reactor model gets U.S. nod