APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Well, get Babcock & Wilcox to do it then!

This article complains strenuously about foreign-made components being included in all of the presently planned new-construction nuclear plants. First; did anyone lament the loss of such manufacturing capability when those facilities that shut down here actually did shut down? Second, a look at Babcock & Wilcox's site reveals that it can still fabricate pressure vessels and closure heads which are among the largest components; it can also fabricate two general types of steam generator, which it is in fact doing for replacement installations in US plants.

Let's face it; some of our manufacturing capacity here was allowed to shut down with no (or almost no) public outcry even though those of us with any experience knew what was being allowed to happen. Sure, companies can't maintain staff and equipment just in case future orders might come in- there's certainly no profit in that. My point is that the manufacturing base DID erode and people knew it. Let's move past that and get the plants built. Perhaps B&W can fabricate components under sub-contract for the other primary vendors or perhaps the loan guarantees could stipulate that if it's that important.

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