NRC's Approval of ESBWR Design is Innovation Milestone

NEI Congratulates GE Hitachi on Design Certification

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced today that it has certified the design of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). The design certification confirms the reactor's ability to operate safely. The design certification is independent of a specific site or an application to build or operate a nuclear energy facility, although it can be referenced in applications to the NRC for combined construction and operating licenses. Following is a statement from Anthony Pietrangelo, Nuclear Energy Institute senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's safety certification of the ESBWR design is a tremendous milestone and a testimony to GE Hitachi's technological excellence. Approval of this innovative, advanced-design reactor will help make it possible for America to continue to rely on nuclear energy as a carbon-free source of affordable, round-the-clock electricity. Our nation's electricity diversity and energy security will be the stronger for it.

"The team at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy can rightly take pride in the leadership they are providing in our field. The enhanced safety features incorporated in the ESBWR design will make it an important contributor to the U.S. electricity portfolio as well as the global electric infrastructure.

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's exacting review of the certification application has been rigorous and exhaustive. It confirms that the ESBWR design meets stringent safety requirements and is a technology that energy companies and communities can turn to with confidence at the societal benefits it will bring."

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