US partnership in nuclear cranes

21 September 2009

Westinghouse subsidiary PaR Nuclear has formed a joint venture with Hutchinson Manufacturing (HMI) to fabricate, assemble and test specialty cranes for nuclear power plants.


Cask-handling crane (PaR)
A cask-handling crane (Image: PaR Nuclear)
The cranes to be produced by the joint venture, named NuCrane Manufacturing, will include those for the Westinghouse-designed AP1000 plants under construction in China and those planned for future construction in the USA.


The NuCrane joint venture will construct a new facility at HMI's existing site in Hutchinson, Minnesota.


Westinghouse said that the joint venture would enable the company to provide large cranes to the US market. It noted that NuCrane would complement PaR Nuclear's capabilities to provide fuel-handling equipment, outage-critical cranes and service commercial nuclear power plants worldwide. The joint venture will also enable synergies between the two companies to achieve shorter plant outage durations.


Bill Burns, president of PaR Nuclear, said: "This partnership will provide Westinghouse the opportunity to manufacture cranes and specialty hoists in support of its AP1000 nuclear plant construction worldwide." He added, "The joint venture will also provide the capabilities to deliver modification and replacements for the current nuclear fleet."


No financial details about the partnership were disclosed.


Westinghouse acquired a controlling, 81% stake in fuel handling equipment and outage-critical crane manufacturer PaR Nuclear in May 2004. In July 2006, it completed the purchase of the remainder of the business.


PaR Nuclear currently provides all types and sizes of nuclear plant cranes, but has particular expertise and experience in outage-critical cranes, whose performance has the potential to impact outage duration. These typically include polar and reactor building cranes, cask-handling cranes and turbine cranes.