Lockheed Martin extends Chinese nuclear cooperation

13 June 2013

Lockheed Martin and China's State Nuclear Automation System Engineering Corporation (SNPAS) have extended their cooperation in the development of reactor protection systems for Chinese nuclear power plants.

Lockheed Martin's nuclear systems and solutions division and SNPAS - a subsidiary of State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) - signed an agreement in late 2010 to cooperate on the development of safety systems for use in the CAP1400, a Chinese derivative of Westinghouse's AP1000 design. A dedicated development facility was set up near Scranton, Pennsylvania in early 2011, since when a technical development team from SNPAS has been on-site.

The two companies have now signed an agreement, the terms of which have not been disclosed, to prototype, manufacture and qualify reactor protection systems. They will develop a nuclear safety instrumentation and control platform based on field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. This platform will specifically address safety and regulatory concerns related to software common-cause failures in digital nuclear safety systems. These systems will monitor and detect potential failures in the system. Lockheed Martin said that the platform can be applied in both new plant construction and in upgrades at existing plants.

Construction of the first CAP1400, at Shidaowan in China's Shandong Province, is scheduled to begin in April 2014. SNPTC will take the lead with 55% of the project company. The other stakeholder will be Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Corp, a subsidiary China Huaneng Group, one of China's largest power companies. The partners hope their first CAP1400 will begin operation in 2018.

Lockheed Martin has been supplying safety-critical instrumentation and control systems for naval and civilian nuclear projects for more than 50 years. It has been providing digital systems for over 30 years. Its systems are currently operating on all of the USA's nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News