Lockheed opens joint R&D base

24 June 2014

China's SNPAS and Lockheed Martin of the USA have opened a new cooperative R&D base where the partners aim to drive forward research on reactor protection systems for Chinese-designed nuclear power plants.

The new facility, in Fort Worth, Texas, is the latest development in a four-year cooperation between the two companies to develop safety systems for use in Chinese CAP1400 reactor design, which is derived from Westinghouse's AP1000 pressurized water reactor.

SNPAS (State Nuclear Power Automation System Engineering Corporation) signed an initial cooperation agreement with Lockheed Martin in 2010 and a dedicated facility was established in Pennsylvania in 2011. The cooperation was extended by a 2013 agreement to prototype, manufacture and qualify reactor protection systems based on the NuPAC platform. SNPAS is a subsidiary of China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC).

SNPTC describes NuPac as a new generation field programmable gate array-based safety-related instrumentation and control (I&C) system platform. Jointly developed by SNPAS and Lockheed Martin, it is designed to meet both US and Chinese regulatory standards and is currently undergoing a review by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The CAP1400 is being developed by SNPTC with consulting input from Westinghouse. Two initial units are planned for construction at Shidaowan. In January, China's National Energy Board granted preliminary approval for the CAP1400 design, with construction anticipated to begin at some point during this year. About 80% of components for the first two CAP1400s will be made in China, and the country has long-term plans to deploy the design in large numbers as well as potentially looking to the export market.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News