Westinghouse Electric Company on 4 May launched its AP300 small nuclear reactor. The Westinghouse design is scaled from its AP1000 reactor and is based on what the company calls its ‘Nth-of-a-kind’ operating plant.
The SMR is a 300 MWe single-loop pressurised water reactor. Westinghouse is selling the unit as an ‘ultra-compact, modular-constructed unit that leverages the innovation and operational knowledge of the global AP1000 fleet’. It will utilise the same technology as the AP1000, including major equipment, structural components, passive safety, proven fuel, and I&C systems, as well as fast load-follow capabilities, a mature supply chain and ‘constructability’ lessons already learned from 18 years of AP1000 operations.
Operational safety is derived from?the company’s advanced passive safety system which is said to automatically achieve safe shutdown without operator action, and eliminates the need for backup power and cooling supply. This is said to directly translate into a simplified design, lower CAPEX and smaller footprint. Like the AP1000, the AP300 is designed to operate for an 80 year-plus life cycle.
The AP300 design utilises the Westinghouse Gen III+ technology, which has regulatory approval in the USA, Great Britain and China, as well as compliance with European Utility Requirements standards for nuclear power plants.
Design certification is anticipated for 2027, followed by site specific licensing and construction of the first unit toward the end of the decade.
Westinghouse has named Dr Rita Baranwal, currently chief technology officer in the Energy Systems business unit, to lead the team developing the AP300.
Image: Westinghouse SMR CGR realisation