Security & Safety

Westinghouse / Company Formally Begins UK Design Assessment For AP300 Nuclear Power Plant

By David Dalton
14 February 2024

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Company Formally Begins UK Design Assessment For AP300 Nuclear Power Plant
US-based reactor technology company Westinghouse unveiled the AP300 design last year. Courtesy Westinghouse.

Westinghouse has formally submitted an application to the UK Department of Energy Security and Net Zero for approval to begin the general design assessment (GDA) of its AP300 small modular reactor.

The US-based reactor technology company, which unveiled the AP300 design last year, said this is the first step in the formal licensing process within the UK.

The AP300 SMR design uses Westinghouse’s existing Generation III+ advanced technology, which has regulatory approval in Great Britain, the US and China, as well as compliance with European Utility Requirements (EUR) standards for nuclear power plants.

The company said this brings licensing advantages and substantially reduces delivery risk for customers.

This GDA application comes less than a week after Westinghouse signed an agreement with Community Nuclear Power (CNP) that could lead to the deployment of the UK’s first privately financed SMR fleet using the AP300 technology. The first plant could begin commercial operation by the early 2030s.

The UK government is running a competition for companies to design and build SMRs. In October it selected six companies to advance to the next phase of the competition. The companies are: Westinghouse, EDF, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Holtec Britain, NuScale Power and Rolls-Royce SMR.

The AP300 SMR is based on Westinghouse’s large-scale AP1000 unit. There are four AP1000 units in commercial operation in China and one, Vogtle-3, in the US. A second Vogtle unit is approaching operation.

The company said that unlike every other SMR under development with first-of-a-kind technologies and risks, Westinghouse’s AP300 SMR uses the AP1000 engineering, components, and supply chain. The AP300 is the only SMR based on a licensed, operating nuclear reactor, Westinghouse said.

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