NRC Grants First Ever ESBWR-Based Construction and Operating License
WILMINGTON, NC—April 30, 2015—GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today congratulated Michigan-based DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) on the receipt of its combined construction and operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Issuance of this license concludes a six-year process that examined the technical, safety and environmental aspects of the potential unit, a 1,500-MW GEH Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). DTE Energy’s license for the potential unit marks the first for an ESBWR and comes on the heels of the reactor’s NRC certification in 2014.
“We congratulate DTE Energy on obtaining this license which gives the company the option to add more clean, baseload nuclear power to its diverse energy mix,” said Caroline Reda, President & CEO, GEH. “The granting of this license is also an important milestone for the ESBWR, the world’s latest reactor design to be certified by the U.S. NRC.”
In addition to DTE Energy, Dominion Virginia Power also selected ESBWR technology for its North Anna Unit 3 Nuclear Power Plant project. That project is expected to be licensed next year. Both companies operate a wide range of power generation equipment to meet the needs of customers.
"With this license, DTE Energy now possesses the most diverse, comprehensive slate of options to plan for Michigan's energy future," said Steven Kurmas, DTE Energy's president and chief operating officer. "The potential of additional nuclear energy gives us the option of reliable, base-load, generation that does not emit greenhouse gases."
With its advanced, true passive safety systems, the ESBWR is the world’s safest approved nuclear reactor design, based on core damage frequency. The reactor can cool itself for more than seven days with no on-site or off-site AC power or operator action, uses approximately 25 percent fewer pumps and mechanical drives than reactors with active safety systems and offers the lowest projected operating, maintenance and staffing costs in the nuclear industry on a per-kilowatt basis.
In addition to these domestic projects, NRC certification of the reactor’s design has paved the way for the ESBWR to be built in other locations around the globe. Key global commercial projects include: Brazil, India, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Vietnam and others.
Today GE employs more than 3,400 Michiganders, spending more than $3.7 billion with Michigan-based suppliers and supporting more than 1,700 supplier jobs in the state. This includes GE Aviation’s Avionics business headquartered in Grand Rapids, manufacturing facilities in Muskegon and a state-of-the-art technical innovation center in Van Buren Township.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.