GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's ABWR Renewal Application Formally Accepted by the NRC


o GEH Seeking to Extend its ABWR Design Certification to 2027
o GEH's ABWR the First 'Generation III' Reactor Certified for U.S. Construction in 1997

WILMINGTON, N.C.-February 23, 2011-GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has formally accepted the company's application to renew the design certification for its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology. As a result, the agency can formally begin reviewing the application.

GEH is seeking to renew its ABWR design certification for 15 years beyond June 2012, when the original certification is set to expire. The application includes important updates to the 1,350-plus-megawatt ABWR design including the current NRC requirement for an aircraft-impact assessment.

In 1997, GEH's ABWR became the first Generation III model certified for U.S. construction, but more than 13 years later, most utilities are still deciding whether to begin building new nuclear power plants. With a single nuclear power plant project representing an investment of billions of dollars, NRC-certification status is among the key factors a utility considers in selecting a reactor model.

"We are committed to ensure our ABWR design remains certified for immediate commercial deployment as utilities evaluate their energy priorities," said Jerald Head, senior vice president of regulatory affairs for GEH. "We look forward to working with the NRC to help support a timely review of our application utilizing the NRC draft guidance issued earlier this year."

The first two of four ABWRs operating in Japan entered service in 1996 and 1997. Five more ABWRs are currently being built in Japan and Taiwan.

"GEH's international ABWR experience combined with an NRC-certified reactor design offers U.S. customers confidence that regulatory uncertainty will not impact their project construction costs and schedule," Head noted.

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 with more than 50 years of continuous new plant construction experience. 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.

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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
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Email: michael.tetuan@ge.com

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