The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted unanimously on December 22 in favor of publishing the final certification rule for Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design, instructing the agency's staff to forward the final rule, which amends Appendix D of 10 CFR Part 52, for publication in the Federal Register, expected by January 5.
The commissioners also approved a measure-based on edits proposed by Commissioner George Apostolakis-for the rule to go into effect upon publication so that applicants for combined construction and operating licenses (COL) that have been waiting for certification of the reactor design can receive their COLs as soon as the rule appears in the FR, and once there are favorable votes by the commissioners on those applications. The COL applications for Southern Nuclear Operating Company's Vogtle-3 and -4 and SCANA/Santee Cooper's Summer-2 and -3 have gone through all NRC reviews and are awaiting the commissioners' votes.
For more information, please see the Westinghouse Electric Company multimedia press release. Detailed coverage will appear in the February 2012 edition of Nuclear News.