US EPR component plant delayed

25 August 2010

Areva has adjusted its construction scheduled for the Areva Newport News plant in Virginia, its joint venture project with Northrop Grumman for the manufacture of heavy components for EPR reactors. In an emailed statement, Areva said that the postponement of the start of operations at the $360 million facility was made "to meet our customers' planning timetables and to ensure we have production capabilities and capacity when our customers are ready for our components." It added, "In the absence of sufficient loan guarantee funding and commitments to qualified applicants, some customers are delaying the start of projects which affects when the heavy components to be manufactured in Newport News will be required." The plant will be able to finish the largest nuclear grade steel-alloy components such as reactor pressure vessels, steam generators and pressurizers. Construction of the new 30,000 square meter plant at Northrop Grumman's existing shipbuilding site at Newport News began in July 2009. At that time, operations at the new facility were expected to start in 2012. Construction work continues at the site, Areva said, adding that it "remains committed to completing this facility in a timely manner which will continue to support Areva’s US and global equipment needs." Areva spokesman Jarret Adams told the local Daily Press newspaper, "We're hoping to have people in the building in 2012, and we're looking at operational dates in maybe 2013."

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