West­ing­house switches on to big po­ten­tial in China

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By LYUCHANG lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

US-based West­ing­house Elec­tric Co ex­pects to be­gin fuel load­ing at the world’s first AP1000 nu­clear plant in Novem­ber, as the fa­cil­ity in San­men, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, edges closer to be­com­ing op­er­a­tional early next year, the com­pany’s ex­ec­u­tives said on Wed­nes­day.

De­spite be­ing sev­eral years be­hind sched­ule, Gavin Liu, pres­i­dent in Asia for West­ing­house, said the move will pay the way for more op­por­tu­ni­ties in a boom­ing nu­clear mar­ket with more than 100 new nu­clear power plants planned in com­ing decades.

“We plan for fur­ther ex­pan­sion and in­vest­ment here, as wewill play a strong role in the mar­ket,” he told China Daily dur­ing a four-day in­ter­na­tional nu­clear event in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

He said thatAsia ac­counts for less than 25 per­cent of the com­pany’s over­all busi­ness, but the fig­ure is ex­pected to rise to 35 per­cent to40per­cent in thenext five­to10years, driven­by­growth in coun­tries such asChina.

Prior to the fuel load­ing, the com­pany has al­ready com­pleted cold hy­dro test­ing at the plant in San­men, and the hot func­tional test will be held in sev­eral days.

Liu said West­ing­house’s in­vest­ment will cover a wide range of busi­nesses, in­clud­ing new nu­clear projects, in­no­va­tion, main­te­nance ser­vice, fuel sup­ply and de­com­mis­sion­ing.

The AP1000, a pres­sur­ized wa­ter re­ac­tor, is the lat­est tech­nol­ogy that the Penn­syl­va­ni­anu­clear gi­ant is push­ing world­wide. It has eight un­der con­struc­tion, four of which are in China, and the others in the United States.

China, the world’s largest mar­ket for nu­clear power plants un­der con­struc­tion, is plan­ning to build more than 100 new nu­clear re­ac­tors. Not all of them will go toWest­ing­house, ex­perts said, but that num­ber means any nu­clear com­pany in the world would want a piece of the pie.

“We will leave that (the num­ber of AP1000s) to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and our cus­tomers, but we are very con­fi­dent that the role of AP1000 in the fu­ture ex­pan­sion of nu­clear en­ergy is wellestab­lished,” said Jef­frey Ben­jamin, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of new plants and ma­jor projects atWest­ing­house.

When asked about com­pe­ti­tion with the CAP1400, a scaled-up ver­sion of the AP1000 from State Nu­clear Power Tech­nol­ogy Corp, its long­stand­ing part­ner in China, he said: “I don’t nec­es­sar­ily see it as a head-to-head com­pe­ti­tion. There are cer­tain mar­kets that would re­quire good ap­pli­ca­tions like that, and I think it is a much larger re­ac­tor de­sign.”

I don’t nec­es­sar­ily see it as a headto-head com­pe­ti­tion.”

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