May 27, 2011

NRC finds design flaws with AP1000 reactor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released a statement about the new Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor. After a review of the Toshiba-designed reactor, the NRC found: "more problems regarding the AP1000's shield building, as well as the peak accident pressures expected within containment."

The AP1000 is planned to be the backbone of the "nuclear renaissance," and this is only the latest problem with the reactor design. Last year, a former nuclear executive and 39-year industry veteran released an analysis showing that the likelihood of a hole in the steel containment dome is much greater in the AP1000 design than current reactors. 

Westinghouse Electric said it expects no design changes will result from the NRC's request for additional work on the AP1000 advanced nuclear reactor design. 

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