US, Chinese AP1000 contracts

08 May 2008

A design and services contract has been signed for the forthcoming nuclear power reactors at Sanmen, China. At the same time, components for the same AP1000 design have been ordered for American units.


AP1000 cutaway 
AP1000 and its various components
Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research Design Institute signed a deal with Sanmen Nuclear Power Company in Beijing late last month for design and technical services relating to the two Westinghouse AP1000s to be built at Sanmen in Zheijang province.


The project owner is Sanmen Nuclear Power Company, set up for the project and 51% owned by China National Nuclear Company (CNNC), whose representatives witnessed the signing.


CNNC said the contract further defined the owner and contractor's responsibilities leading up the the pouring of first concrete in March 2009. It was said to reduce uncertainty and risk in the project.

Further ahead, the contract covers project planning and technical quality assurance during build, as well as balance of plant work and ongoing services during operation - scheduled for August 2013 for the first of the two reactor units. According to that schedule they will be the first AP1000s to be completed.


CNNC said ths signing of the contract marks the official start of the project before ground is broken, although site preparation is already underway.




While many firms in the USA and elsewhere have been planning to build new nuclear power reactors, the number of actual contracts disclosed for components for the potential units has remained low. Some firms have announced contracting Japanese steel specialists to produce heavy components like pressure vessels, while US manufacturers have said they were preparing for orders.


Curtiss-Wright announced two days ago that they had received purchase orders for 24 AP1000 reactor coolant pumps (RCPs) for over $300 million. Each AP1000 reactor requires eight such pumps, and the Curtiss Wright orders are for US units. Curtiss-Wright said that orders had come in conjunction with a deal from AP1000 designer Westinghouse to provide up to 32 of the RCPs.


The company's chairman and CEO, Martin Benante said: "This landmark agreement is the largest commercial power order in Curtiss-Wright's history and signals that the domestic nuclear power renaissance is underway."


It is known that the Sanmen AP1000s will feature reactor pressure vessels and steam generators from Doosan Heavy Industries while the steam turbines will come from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and its Chinese partner Harbin Power Equipment.


A Reuters report from Korea today said Doosan had won another contract with Westinghouse, worth $288 million. This is comparable to Doosan's contract at Sanmen, reportedly worth $350 million, and indicates the Korean company's possible involvement in Westinghouse's other AP1000 sales in China concerning two units at Haiyang in Shandong province.