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US NRC approval of GE Hitachi reactor boosts its prospects: CEO

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission certification of GE Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor design for construction and operation in the US will provide a boost for the reactor in overseas markets, the company's CEO said Tuesday. The commission voted Tuesday to approve a final rule certifying the design as acceptable for operation in the US. NRC staff completed its technical safety review of the ESBWR in April. GEH said in a statement that "the ESBWR employs advanced, true passive safety systems and a simplified design using natural circulation. These attributes result in the ability of the reactor to cool itself for more than seven days without operator intervention or AC power on or off site. Based on core damage frequency, the ESBWR is the world's safest approved nuclear reactor design."

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