Westinghouse rounds up tech, fuel and supply chain

19 January 2011

Westinghouse has secured its role in China with agreements on nuclear power plant deployment and fuel fabrication. In the UK it has reaffirmed its engineering alliances. 


Two deals were signed off in Washington yesterday during the Chinese state visit to the USA. The first concerns the ongoing AP1000 construction program and the extension of a 2008 cooperation agreement with State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) for another two years.


Candria, Chu, Wang and Zhang in Washington

Westinghouse CEO Aris Candris and SNPTC chairman Wang Binghua signed the document. They were joined by US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Zhang Guobao, outgoing director of the National Energy Administration.


SNPTC is the Chinese firm charged with mastering the AP1000 technology so that China can soon mass-produce the units completely autonomously. The two companies will continue to work together in construction, maintenance, technology development and strategic investment.


SNPTC said the deal also included measures "to develop cooperation in the field of overseas markets."


In addition to the actual reactors China will need increasing volumes of nuclear fuel. Usually, the large first core for a new reactor is supplied by the vendor with subsequent smaller reloads coming perhaps from alternative suppliers.

Westinghouse will provide first cores and some re-loads for the four AP1000s under construction at Sanmen and Haiyanag, but China's goal of self-reliance means it wants to manufacture as much as possible in future.

In a $35 million deal yesterday Westinghouse agreed to "design, manufacture and install fuel fabrication equipment" for China Baotou Nuclear Fuel with the aim of supplying the future fleet.


Westinghouse said it would source the equipment from suppliers in the US states of Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company recently manufature its first AP1000 fuel assembly in Columbia, South Carolina.


The China Baotou facility in Inner Mongolia already makes fuel for other Chinese pressurized water reactors as well as Candu units at Qinshan.


Links in the UK supply chain 


Meanwhile the 'Nuclear Power Delivery UK' team, comprised of Westinghouse, Shaw, Toshiba and Laing O'Rourke, has re-affirmed its memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with supply chain firms BAE Systems, Doosan and Rolls-Royce. 

The companies announced in September 2008 they would collaborate on the design, fabrication and integration of modules; the erection and assembly of components; nuclear component manufacturing; safety and technical support and support for commissioning. 

Westinghouse's Rita Bowser said, "The work produced under earlier MoUs sets the basis for more detailed collaboration as we move forward." The new MoUs concern engineering support, manufacturing, components, supply chain and logistics.
Rolls-Royce said it would "support the development of proposals for engineering, manufacture and supply of mission critical components in the heart of the nuclear reactor."



Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

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