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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Westinghouse AP1000 project in Canada

Below is a press release from Westinghouse. Some comment from APR follows.


News Release Issued: July 23, 2012 10:30 AM EDT

Westinghouse To Prepare Detailed Construction Plans And Cost Estimates For Potential AP1000® Units At Darlington

Opens Westinghouse Electric Canada Office to Meet Growing Business Opportunities and Strengthen Ties with Customers and Suppliers

PITTSBURGH, July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Company today announced that it would prepare for Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) detailed construction plans, schedules and cost estimates for two potential AP1000 nuclear reactors at OPG's Darlington site. 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 is pleased to participate in the Province's information-gathering process," said Joe Zwetolitz, president, Westinghouse Americas. "Should the Province select our AP1000 as the preferred option, we believe that Ontario's infrastructure could become even more energy self-sufficient, creating local Canadian jobs during construction and opportunities for involving Canadian suppliers on this and future nuclear projects elsewhere in the world."

As further evidence of a commitment to the Canadian new build market, and to better serve existing customers, strengthen ties with suppliers, and align Westinghouse more appropriately with the regulations and requirements of Canada to meet growing business opportunities, Westinghouse is also pleased to announce the opening of the Westinghouse Electric Canada, Inc. office in Toronto.

"The formation of a Canadian entity earlier this year was consistent with our strategy to increase business in the country," said Zwetolitz. "With the opening of the Westinghouse Canada office in Toronto, we now have become more a part of Canada's viable nuclear energy industry."

Approximately 100 Canadian suppliers currently provide a wide range of products and services for the Westinghouse product lines of Fuel, Services, Automation, and Nuclear Power Plants. 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, resulting in the opportunity to work with and qualify additional Canadian businesses and manufacturers to participate in the potential new build at Darlington and in other global nuclear projects.

Four AP1000 units are currently under construction at two sites in China and four units are under construction at two sites in the U.S. At each of these four sites, upwards of 3,500 construction workers are employed during the peak of construction activities. Once construction is complete, operation of a two-unit AP1000 nuclear plant requires up to 700 employees.

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa., USA. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States.

SOURCE Westinghouse Electric Company


This is a very interesting prospect. As the press release notes, there are eight AP1000 plants under construction worldwide right now; there may or may not be two more under construction here in the United States in the predictable future, making ten. Adding two Canadian plants would make twelve. Someone, somewhere, must be thinking about the Westinghouse SNUPPS design and the cost benefits that it was supposed to confer because of the large number of units to be constructed at one time. (Only two were ever finished.) Although it's highly speculative, it would be fascinating to see what projected costs for various components do as the number of plants ordered continues to increase.

10:14 AM Eastern 7/24/2012


  1. The two active Chinese sites have room for 10 additional reactors. There were 3 other Chinese sites where the AP1000 was being considered. My personal bet is that the Chinese will not build any more AP1000's but instead build the Chinese modification of the AP1000 (maybe CAP1400). It would become even more interesting if the Chinese were to bid on making AP1000 parts for western plants.

  2. According to information I obtained directly from the Chinese (in the guise of the SNPTC Ltd.) at the recent ANS Annual Meeting / DD&R-ICAPP Exhibit, the CAP1400 will begin construction on the first units in 2013. This is the final step in a three step process (Construction of AP1000 plants in China with allowed technical transfer, then complete AP1000 design from Chinese suppliers, followed by the new CAP1400.) This is normally the way such nations operate - they purchase outside technology, learn to copy it, then obtain mastery of the jobs entailed. This is followed by re-engineering and modification. Your observation about Chinese bids for AP1000 parts is interesting - I'd love to see the NRC consideration on such things, not to mention Westinghouse's response.