United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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Design Certification Applications for New Reactors

By issuing a design certification, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approves a nuclear power plant design, independent of an application to construct or operate a plant. A design certification is valid for 15 years from the date of issuance, but can be renewed for an additional 10 to 15 years.

Design certification is achieved through the NRC's rulemaking process, and is founded on the staff's review of the application, which addresses the various safety issues associated with the proposed nuclear power plant design, independent of a specific site. During this process, the NRC notifies all stakeholders (including the public) as to how and when they may participate in the regulatory process, which may include participating in public meetings and rulemaking activities related to design certifications. See our Backgrounder on New Nuclear Plant Designs for an overview of new nuclear plant designs and the status of their respective reviews.

The links below provide information on the design certifications that the NRC has issued to date, as well as the applications that are currently under review. The activities associated with reviewing these applications are reflected in the individual links for docketed design certification applications.

Issued Design Certifications

The NRC staff has issued the following design certifications:

Design Applicant
Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) General Electric (GE) Nuclear Energy
System 80+ Westinghouse Electric Company
Advanced Passive 600 (AP600) Westinghouse Electric Company
Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) Westinghouse Electric Company

Design Certification Applications Currently Under Review

The staff is currently reviewing the following design certification applications:

Design Applicant
ABWR Design Certification Rule (DCR) Amendment South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company
Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor (ESBWR) GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy
U.S. EPR AREVA NP, Inc.
U.S. Advanced Pressurized-Water Reactor (US-APWR) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
ABWR Design Certification Renewal Toshiba Corporation Power Systems Company
ABWR Design Certification Renewal GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, August 12, 2013