Trio team up for Saudi nuclear projects

12 July 2010

The Shaw Group, Exelon and Toshiba plan to team up to pursue contracts for "a full complement of services to design, engineer, construct and operate" nuclear power projects in Saudi Arabia.  


Under the terms of a teaming agreement, Shaw, Toshiba and Exelon Nuclear Partners - a division of US utility Exelon - will jointly pursue engineering, procurement, construction and operations of nuclear power plants using Toshiba's Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). The group would also be capable of utilizing Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor technology.


Toshiba and Shaw would provide design, engineering, procurement and construction services, while Exelon would provide operations and related services for the projects.


J.M. Bernhard, Shaw's chairman, president and CEO, said: "Shaw, Toshiba and Westinghouse are working collaboratively with customers to build four nuclear units in China and six new nuclear units in the US, the first contracts awarded in the US in nearly 30 years for new nuclear power plants."


He added, "The addition of Exelon, which operates the largest nuclear power fleet in the United States, creates a team that is unmatched in its ability to offer a portfolio of technology, construction and operations in Saudi Arabia."


In April 2010, Saudi Arabia announced plans to establish a centre that will take a major role in its moves to set up a nuclear power program. The centre, called the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE), was established by a royal order issued by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.


The Riyadh-based 'city' will be tasked with promoting research, making future deals, and overseeing activities related to the use of atomic energy, according to an announcement by the Saudi Arabian government. It will also be the competent agency in charge of fulfilling national requirements in reference to existing and future treaties on nuclear and renewable energy signed by the kingdom, as well as being responsible for supervising works related to nuclear energy and radioactive waste projects. The initiative will be primarily funded through allocations from the state budget.


The KA-CARE organisation recently appointed the Finland- and Switzerland-based Pöyry consultancy firm to "help prepare a draft of the national vision and high-level strategy in the area of nuclear and renewable energy applications."


Before US companies can start nuclear cooperation projects with Saudi Arabia, the US and Saudi governments must negotiate a so-called 123 Agreement. Such agreements are a prerequisite for the transfer of nuclear energy-related materials and components between the USA and another country under Section 123 of the 1954 US Atomic Energy Act, establishing the legal framework for civil nuclear cooperation under non-proliferation conditions and controls.


Likewise, an intergovernmental cooperation agreement between Japan and Saudi Arabia is required before Japanese companies can get involved in Saudi nuclear power projects.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News