Westinghouse to prepare bid for Darlington

24 July 2012

Westinghouse will prepare detailed construction plans and cost estimates for two potential AP1000 reactors at Ontario Power Generation's (OPG's) Darlington site.

Darlington new build site (OPG)-200
The area at the Darlington site earmarked for new reactors (Image: OPG)

"The plans and estimates would provide significant input in helping the Province of Ontario determine the baseload generation option that is best for Ontario's ratepayers," Westinghouse said.

Westinghouse Americas president Joe Zwetolitz said that the company "is pleased to participate in the province's information-gathering process." The company has also opened an office in Toronto to better serve the Canadian market.

Some 100 Canadian suppliers currently provide a wide range of products and services for the Westinghouse product lines, the company said. "Additionally, a large percentage of the scope for the potential construction of AP1000 reactor units at Darlington would be sourced from Ontario or elsewhere in Canada."

In September 2006, provincially-owned OPG applied for a licence to prepare its Darlington site for construction of up to four new nuclear power units. An updated application and the environmental impact statement were submitted in September 2009. An independent review panel appointed by the Environment Department and the Canadian Nuclear safety Commission (CNSC) in 2009 concluded in August 2011 that the construction of up to four new reactors was unlikely to cause adverse environmental effects, and in May 2012 the environmental assessment was approved. A licence to prepare site is expected to be issued by CNSC later this year.

In March 2008, Ontario's Minister of Energy invited companies to submit proposals to build two new nuclear reactors at Darlington or Bruce, or both. In June 2008, the Ontario government selected Darlington as the site for the two new nuclear reactors, to be operated by OPG and to come on line in 2018. Three submissions were received by the February 2009 deadline – from Areva (US EPR), Westinghouse (AP1000) and AECL (ACR-1000). However, in June 2009, the provincial government announced that the procurement process was being stalled pending resolution of the future of AECL. It also said that the bids from abroad were deemed unacceptable.

Earlier this month, the Ontarian energy minister Christopher Bentley told the province's Standing Committee on Estimates that OPG had reached an agreement with SNC Lavalin (which acquired the reactor business of AECL last year) and Westinghouse to provide funds to help them prepare construction plans, schedules and cost estimates for two new reactors at Darlington. He said, "Although I am advised that the specific price between the two is commercially sensitive - they had hard negotiations with each - the ballpark total price for the two is less than C$26 million ($25.5 million)."

Bentley told the committee, "OPG has determined that the best way to be able to know costs, know construction timelines, know risk so that they can determine whether it's financially the right thing to do, is to get these companies competitively to put together a hard estimate."

While Westinghouse has now confirmed that it is to provide the construction plans and cost estimates, SNC Lavalin has yet to publicly announce that it will proceed.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News