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Duke Energy has selected the Westinghouse AP1000® technology for its proposed new nuclear facilities. The Westinghouse AP1000 reactor is an advanced nuclear power plant that uses the forces of nature and simplicity of design to enhance plant safety and operations and reduce construction costs.

Each Westinghouse AP1000 generating unit is capable of producing approximately 1,117 megawatts of electricity and features enhanced systems to safely shut down the reactor or mitigate events. The AP1000 is designed for a 60-year operating life.

AP1000 Plant Cutaway

AP1000 Simplifications

The AP1000 was designed with simplicity in mind. Simplifications in everything from the normal operating system to construction techniques will improve efficiency and plant operations. The plant simplifications will yield fewer components – a considerable savings not only during construction, but it will also lower operation and maintenance costs. Using fewer materials reduces the plant’s carbon footprint, contributing to our goal of building a sustainable future. 

AP1000 Shield Building

In June 2011, researchers at Purdue University completed large-scale tests to verify the structural integrity of the shield building for the AP1000. The shield building surrounds the main components of the AP1000 with an inner steel-wall containment vessel and an outer radiation shield made using a technology called steel-concrete-composite construction. This design protects it from natural disasters and the impact of a jetliner. 

The Purdue researchers found that the shield structure is flexible and strong enough to withstand earthquake forces more powerful than NRC design requirements, and that the structure provides a significant reserve margin to ensure radiation is contained.