Issued Design Certification - Advanced Boiling-Water Reactor (ABWR)

Who:   General Electric (GE) Nuclear Energy
What:   Application for Standard Design Certification for the U.S. Advanced Boiling-Water Reactor (ABWR), a 3926-MWt, single-cycle, forced-circulation, boiling-water reactor
When:   General Electric submitted the Standard Design Certification Application in piecemeal format from September 29, 1987, through March 31, 1989. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a final rule certifying the design on May 12, 1997.
Where:   See our map showing locations of projected new nuclear power reactors.

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Project Overview

The NRC certified the U.S. ABWR design in May 1997. The ABWR is a single-cycle, force-circulation, boiling-water reactor (BWR), with a rated power of 3926 MWt, designed by GE Nuclear Energy. The design incorporates features of the BWR designs in Europe, Japan, and the United States, and uses improved electronics, computer, turbine, and fuel technology. Improvements include the use of internal recirculation pumps, control rod drives that can be controlled by a screw mechanism (rather than a step process), microprocessor-based digital control and ogic systems, and digital safety systems. The design also includes safety enhancements, such as protection against overpressurizing the containment, passive core debris flooding capability, an independent water makeup system, three emergency diesels, and a combustion turbine as an alternative power source. The U.S. ABWR design is similar to the international ABWR design, which was built at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Generation Station, Units 6 and 7 (K-6/7), by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.

The staff's formal review of the application was initiated on March 31, 19891 when GE submitted its application for final design approval (FDA) and standard design certification for the U.S. ABWR design. The NRC staff issued the FDA, along with the "Final Safety Evaluation Report [FSER] Related to Certification of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor Design" (NUREG-1503), on July 13, 1994. The agency then published the proposed design certification rule (DCR) in the Federal Register on April 7, 1995 (60 FR 17902). Subsequently, GE submitted changes to the ABWR design information in Revision 4 to the design control document (DCD). The NRC staff evaluated those changes in a supplement to the FSER (NUREG-1503, Supplement 1). The Executive Director for Operations (EDO) transmitted the final DCR to the Commission on April 15, 1996 (SECY-96-077, "Certification of Two Evolutionary Designs"). Then, on December 6, 1996, the Commission voted to approve the final DCR for the U.S. ABWR standard plant design, and the Secretary of the Commission signed the final rule on May 2, 1997, after approval of the information collection requirements by the Office of Management and Budget. On May 12, 1997, the NRC issued the U.S. ABWR final DCR in the Federal Register (62 FR 25800). Applicants or licensees intending to construct and operate a plant based on the U.S. ABWR design may do so by referencing its DCR, as set forth in Appendix A to Title 10, Part 52, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 52, Appendix A). On August 11, 1997, the NRC issued a revised FDA based on the updated standard safety analysis report (SSAR).

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Applicant's Design Control Document

Please note that because of format conversion issues, some of the documents listed in the following table contain hyperlinks to other areas within the entire set of documentation that will not work.

Part Chapter Title Revision
Tier 1 1-5 ABWR DCD Tier 1 Chapters 1-5 Rev. 4
Tier 2 TOC Table of Contents Rev. 4
1 Introduction and General Description of Plant Rev. 4
2 Site Characteristics Rev. 4
3 Design of Structures, Components, Equipment and Systems Rev. 4
4 Reactor Rev. 4
5 Reactor Coolant System and Connected Systems Rev. 4
6 Engineered Safety Features Rev. 4
7 Instrumentation and Control Systems Rev. 4
8 Electric Power Rev. 4
9 Auxiliary Systems Rev. 4
10 Steam and Power Conversion System Rev. 4
11 Radioactive Waste Management Rev. 4
12 Radiation Protection Rev. 4
13 Conduct of Operations Rev. 4
14 Initial Test Program Rev. 4
15 Accident and Analysis Rev. 4
16 Technical Specifications Rev. 4
17 Quality Assurance Rev. 4
18 Human Factors Engineering Rev. 4
19 Response to Severe Accident Policy Statement Rev. 4
20 Question and Response Guide Rev. 4
21 Engineering Drawings Rev. 4

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NRC Safety Evaluation Report

  • NUREG-1503, "Final Safety Evaluation Report Related to the Certification of the Advanced Boiling-Water Reactor Design"
  • NUREG-1503, Supplement 1, "Final Safety Evaluation Report Related to Certification of the Advanced Boiling-Water Reactor Design"

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Design Certification Rule for the ABWR Design

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Contacts for the ABWR Design Certification
Lead Project Manager Jim Shea
Contact a Public Affairs Officer

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1GE submitted the Standard Design Certification Application for the U.S. ABWR in piecemeal format from September 29, 1987, through March 31, 1989.