News Updates

  • The final ruling on the design certification for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ APWR has been revised until 2015. Structural changes were made to the design by vendor, which requires a new seismic analysis to be performed. Because of this, the review schedule for the COL applications for Comanche Peak and North Anna has been delayed by approximately 18 months.
  • The final ruling on Areva’s EPR design certification has been revised from June 2013 until the end of 2014. The change is to allow Areva to respond to outstanding technical issues and provide additional information related to post-Fukushima requirements.
  • DOE released a funding opportunity announcement on March, 22 2012 to support engineering, design certification and licensing of up to two SMR projects for construction and operation at a domestic site. DOE intends to fund the program over a five year period through cost share agreements with private industry partners that want to be the first-movers in the SMR arena.
  • The $32 billion merger between Duke Energy and Progress Energy was completed July 3, 2012 resulting in Duke Energy keeping Progress as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Regulatory Status

  • Eighteen COL applications have been docketed, ten of which (totaling 16 nuclear reactors) remain under active NRC review. NRC suspended review of five applications due to changes in technology or economic considerations; one additional application was withdrawn and resubmitted as an ESP. The Reference COL (R-COL) application has been submitted for five reactor designs (ESBWR R-COL was transferred to Fermi since North Anna changed to the US-APWR); the 10 subsequent COLs (S-COLs) will incorporate the corresponding R-COL application by reference, noting any site-specific departures. Southern Nuclear’s Vogtle Units 3 and 4 and SCE&G’s VC Summer Units 2 and 3 have received COLs.
  • Nine SMR vendors have initiated contact with the NRC regarding their reactor designs. Four of these designs are domestic Light Water-based designs. While all four will submit DC applications, B&W and Holtec have plans to submit Construction Permits under 10CFRPart 50 as well. Small modular reactors are defined as producing less than 300 MWe.

Reactor Design Certification (DC)
Two reactor designs that are being considered for future builds are certified and two renewal applications are under NRC review.

  • AREVA US-EPR – Submitted December 12, 2007, and docketed February 25, 2008; rulemaking expected in December 2014.
  • GE ESBWR – Final Design Approval in March 2011; rulemaking expected 2013.
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries US-APWR – Submitted December 31, 2007, and docketed February 29, 2008; rulemaking expected in 2015.
  • KEPCO APR-1400 – Pre-application interactions began in January 2012. Design certification application anticipated March 2013.
  • GE ABWR – Certified in 1997. Toshiba and GEH have also separately submitted Design Certification renewal applications that are currently under review.
  • Westinghouse AP1000 – Amended design certified on December 30, 2011.

Early Site Permits (ESP)
Four ESPs issued; two under review:

  • On March 25, 2010, Exelon submitted an ESP application for its Victoria County site. The final SER and EIS are expected to be completed by mid 2014.
  • PSEG submitted an ESP application for its nuclear plant site in Salem County, New Jersey, on May 26, 2010. The final SER and EIS are expected in mid to late 2014.
  • NRC anticipates two further ESP applications at Blue Castle and Callaway.
  • The following ESPs have been issued: Exelon – Clinton (IL), 3/15/07; Entergy – Grand Gulf (MS), 4/5/07; Dominion – North Anna (VA), 11/ 27/07; Southern – Vogtle site (GA), 08/26/09.

New Plant Construction Progress
Full nuclear construction can now begin for V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 and Vogtle Units 3 and 4. TVA is proceeding with the completion of the Watts Bar 2 and Bellefonte 1 reactors.

New Nuclear Plants under Construction:  COLs for Vogtle Units 3 and 4 and V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 have been issued.


  • At the Vogtle site, work on the containment vessel bottom head for Units 3 and 4 vessel continues. The CR10 module, which will hold the Unit 3 containment vessel bottom head, is being assembled.
  • For pictures of Vogtle Units 3 and 4, please visit the South Nuclear website.

VC Summer

  • Testing for the heavy-lift derrick crane at the V.C. Summer site was recently finished. Work is continuing on both bottom containment vessel heads and work is beginning on the cooling towers.
  • For pictures of VC Summer Units 2 and 3, please visit the SCE&G website.

Watts Bar 2

  • Watts Bar 2, near Spring City, Tennessee, is now expected to come online late 2015 at a revised cost of $4 billion.


  • Construction of some reactor designs to be built in the US is underway in other countries: four AP1000s in /China, two APWRs in Japan, one EPR in Finland and France and another two in China; four ABWRs have been operated in Japan and four are nearing completion in Japan and Taiwan.

Expected Operation Date

  • TVA expects Watts Bar 2 to be completed by late 2015.
  • Southern Nuclear's Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are expected to come online in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
  • SCE&G's VC Summer Units 2 and 3 are expected to come online in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
  • Florida Power and Light's Turkey Point expects Unit 6 to come online by 2022 and Unit 7 by 2023.
  • Progress Energy's Levy site expects the first unit to come online in 2024 and the second unit to follow 18 months later.