NRC wants more info on nuclear reactor design

ATLANTA (AP) -- Federal officials say Westinghouse Electric Co. must fix problems with a new nuclear reactor design before a decision can be made on whether to approve it.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said Friday that a review of the AP1000 reactor design has uncovered problems.

He said Westinghouse must answer questions about the reactor's shield building. Regulators had earlier questioned whether it could protect against severe weather or a jetliner crash.

The agency said Westinghouse made errors in calculating the possible pressures on the walls of a water cooling tank and within the plant's containment area during an accident.

Westinghouse said none of the issues are "safety significant." Power companies have proposed using the new reactor design in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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