A clear distinction between advanced plants, such as the Westinghouse AP1000 and AP600, and evolutionary plants is the policy in the latter to use current systems’ and buildings’ configurations. This approach does not promote simplification or streamlining, especially in the mechanical systems of the plant. The most significant simplification in evolutionary designs has arguably been in the plant electronics where compact digital components and multiplexing have led to improvements, especially in the areas of information display, installation, and testing. The Westinghouse advanced, passive plants take a different approach. Their design engineers presume that if regulatory requirements can be satisfied by using passive systems, then active plant systems that are only designed to meet plant control functions and not burdened with meeting a safety pedigree can be implemented. This separation of safety and control allows the plant designer to focus on systems’ optimization and reliability by reducing complexity and its associated cost. This design policy has led Westinghouse to the AP600 and AP1000 plant configurations, both of which incorporate significant improvements in areas of plant simplification and enhanced safety.

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