The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved Design Certification for Westinghouse Electric Company's AP1000 standard nuclear plant design, making the AP1000 the first Generation III+ plant, the new generation of competitive reactor designs that follow the Generation III Advanced Light Water Reactors developed in the 1990s, to receive such certification.

Westinghouse senior vice president Daniel S. Lipman said: “Design Certification is the final step in the process of rule-making and regulation.”

In September 2004 the NRC awarded Final Design Approval to the AP1000, clearing the way for the company to begin selling the 1100 MWe design internationally.