Subcontractors welcome AP1000 contracts

26 February 2009

The award of contracts to Westinghouse to supply AP1000 reactors in the USA and China has been a bonus to other companies subcontracted to supply materials and components to be used in them.

AP1000 cutaway
A cut-away of the AP1000 design (Image: Westinghouse)
As an example, Ishikawajima-Harima Industries (IHI) of Japan has been awarded a contract to supply the materials that Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) will use to manufacture two AP1000 containment vessels for Westinghouse.
CB&I was awarded a contract worth over $150 million by Westinghouse in late October 2008 for the supply of two AP1000 containment vessels. These are to be delivered in 2014 and 2015 for use in an undisclosed plant. In December, Westinghouse awarded CB&I an identical contract for deliveries in 2015 and 2018. This second set of containment vessels are destined for use in a plant in "the southeastern US," where seven pairs of AP1000s are currently planned.
IHI has now been contracted to supply detailed engineering, procurement and fabrication of materials to be used by CB&I in manufacturing these containment vessels. The materials will be fabricated at IHI's Yokohama No.1 plant in Japan and then shipped to CB&I in the USA. When completed, the steel containment vessels will be more than 40 metres in diameter, over 66 metres high and weigh some 4000 tonnes each.
IHI said that this is the first big US nuclear power project it has been involved in since taking a minority stake in Westinghouse in October 2006.
CB&I 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.
SPX wins valve order
Meanwhile, SPX Corp of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been awarded contracts by Westinghouse totalling more than $100 million. Under the agreements, SPX's flow technology business will supply highly-specialized squib valves for up to twelve new AP1000 nuclear power reactors in the USA and China.
In China, the contracts are for four AP1000s, two each for the Sanmen and Haiyang. Construction of these plants is expected to start in 2009, with the first unit becoming operational in late 2013.
SPX has a long-standing relationship with Westinghouse and currently designs and supplies control, isolation and rotary valves for nuclear plants in China, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, the UK and South Korea.
Don Canterna, SPX segment president, commented: "We are pleased to align with Westinghouse and its construction partners and customers as they build some of the first new nuclear plants in the United States in nearly 30 years, and we're excited to play a part in the new plants in China, as well."
Westinghouse and its consortium are currently building four AP1000s in China (two each at Sanmen and Haiyang). Additionally, the AP1000 design has so far been referenced in combined construction and operating licence (COL) applications for 12 potential new reactors in the USA, all at sites in the south and southeast of the country.