Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is to submit an application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Design Certification of the US-APWR, the company's 1,700 MW advanced pressurised water reactor (APWR) currently under development for launch in the US market.

MHI is basing the US-APWR on technologies the company developed for a 1,538 MW APWR planned for use at the Tsuruga power station in Japan. Modifications will see the US-APWR achieve the world’s highest level of thermal efficiency at 39%, MHI claims, along with a 20% reduction in plant building volume.

MHI looks to receive Design Certification from the NRC by the end of 2011 with the formal application due to be submitted in early 2008. In parallel with this process, MHI will simultaneously conduct marketing activities for the US-APWR to electricity providers in the US where the US-APWR will be introduced as a brand-new plant conforming to the third-generation concept.

As part of this move, MHI has established MHI Nuclear Energy Systems Inc (MNES), a wholly owned subsidiary which will undertake the local activities necessary for obtaining NRC Design Certification.

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