Tokyo, January 7, 2008 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has submitted an application for standard design certification (DC) for the US-APWR, the company's 1,700 MWe (electric megawatt) class advanced pressurized water reactor (PWR) for the U.S. market, to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). MHI completed the DC application preparation process within a short period of about a year and a half, as the company had planned, and the completeness of its technical documents already submitted to the NRC for pre-application review has been acknowledged. TXU Power in Dallas, Texas - now Luminant Power - has already selected the US-APWR design for its planned new nuclear power plants. MHI's submission of the DC application indicates that the US-APWR project is now progressing steadily toward actual plant construction.
The DC application consists of a vast volume of technical documents: more than 20,000 pages in all. MHI began meetings with the NRC in May 2006 and has successfully submitted the DC application within a short period of time based on the NRC's evaluation at a pre-application review meeting held in late November 2007.
In parallel with the DC application, MHI is also supporting preparation of an application for filing with the NRC pertaining to a combined construction and operating license (COL) for Luminant Power's US-APWR plant. In addition to Luminant Power, several other electricity providers in the U.S. are also showing strong interest in the US-APWR.
MHI developed the US-APWR based on technologies for a 1,538 MWe APWR planned for use at the Tsuruga Power Station Units 3 and 4 of the Japan Atomic Power Company. A variety of modifications were added in reflection of the demands of U.S. customers for greater economy; improvements include the world's highest level of thermal efficiency (39%), a 20% reduction in plant building volume and a 24-month fuel cycle. In designing the US-APWR, MHI also incorporated its experience in building 23 PWR plants that are being operated in Japan to achieve enhanced safety and reliability.
In July 2006 MHI established MHI Nuclear Energy Systems, Inc. (MNES), a wholly owned subsidiary, in Washington, D.C., to realize early introduction of the US-APWR into the U.S. market. Since that time, the company has been undertaking the procedures for filing the DC application for the US-APWR to the NRC, and simultaneously it has been conducting marketing activities for the US-APWR targeted at U.S. electricity providers.
The importance of nuclear power generation is now increasing in the U.S. in recognition of the need to prevent global warming and cope with surging oil prices. America's nuclear power market has enormous potential as dozens of new plants are expected to be built over the next quarter-century. On the occasion of filing its DC application, MHI now intends to pursue further deployment of its US-APWR technology and promote the US-APWR to utilities mulling adoption of this new type of reactor.