NEWINGTON — The recent approval of Westinghouse Electric Co.'s newest reactor design is good news for the nuclear technology provider's local manufacturing plant.
On Dec. 22, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave final approval to Westinghouse's design of the AP1000 reactor.
Westinghouse's plant component manufacturing operation in Newington has already started assembling parts for two companies that will use the AP1000 design, said Westinghouse communications specialist Meghan Larsen.
The Newington site is designing components for Georgia-based Southern Co.'s two reactors — Vogtle Unit 3 and Vogtle Unit 4 — and two reactors dubbed VC Summer Unit 2 and VC Summer Unit 3 for SCE&G, a SCANA Corp. subsidiary located in South Carolina, Larsen said.
The Newington facility is contracted to supply reactor vessel internal components and control rod drive mechanisms to all four units, Larsen said. Both sets of equipment are "integral parts" of the design, she said.
Larsen said the AP1000's design is set apart from other next-generation reactors because of its safety features. The Westinghouse Web site touts the AP1000 as the "safest and most economical nuclear power plant design in the world."