Advanced Pressurized Water Reactors

The nuclear power fleet is rapidly aging (the average age is currently thirty years) and many are being shut down or retired for good reasons: they have reached the end of their safe and reliable operating lifetime and electricity produced from natural gas is proving to be tough economic competition. However, this means that more and more electrical power generation is coming off-line. Newer Generation Ш/Ш+ reactors have been designed for greater safety. The Westinghouse AP1000 and the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) are both examples of Generation III reactors that oper­ate on essentially the same principles as a PWR but designed with the intention of greater safety, higher efficiency, less waste, and better economics. While the idea behind the EPR is to lower construction costs with a more compact design, the first EPR to be constructed (in Olikiluto, Finland) was to have opened in 2009, then 2012, and now (as of this writing) is delayed until 2016—all due to construction delays and greatly increased costs.

Updated: September 25, 2015 — 11:38 am