Chicago Bridge & Iron Co (CB&I) has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Westinghouse to build two nuclear power containment vessels.
|The AP1000 reactor (Image: NRC)
The contract - worth over $150 million - is for the first two steel containment vessels for Westinghouse's US AP1000 New Plant Initiative. The vessels, which will each be more than 36 metres in diameter and over 65 metres high, will house the reactors for two new power plants, each having a generating capacity of some 1100 MWe.
CB&I said that the containment vessels are for an undisclosed southeastern US utility consortium. Seven pairs of AP1000s are planned for the south and southeastern USA but CB&I didn't give any more clues as to which potential project their components could be meant for.
CB&I was awarded pre-planning and engineering of this project in March 2008. Fabrication of the vessels is expected to begin in 2009, with the first vessel scheduled for completion in 2014 and the second in 2015. The company said it "has built 75% of the nuclear containment vessels for plants currently operating in the US." It has supplied 130 containment vessels worldwide. In addition, CB&I has built 41 nuclear reactor pressure vessels. Earlier this year, CB&I renewed its nuclear certifications, including the N, NA, NPT and NS Certificates of Accreditation from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
The AP1000 design has so far been referenced in combined construction and operating licence (COL) applications for 12 potential new reactors in the USA. These are Tennessee Valley Authority's Bellefonte units 3 and 4; Progress Energy's Levy units 1 and 2 and Shearon Harris units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric & Gas' VC Summer units 2 and 3; Southern Nuclear Operating Co's Vogtle units 3 and 4; and, Duke Energy's William States Lee III units 1 and 2. Florida Power & Light will also reference the AP1000 in its COL application for two new units at its Turkey Point plant, expected to be submitted in early 2009.