Westinghouse joins UK nuclear power project with plans for three reactors

Source:Westinghouse

Westinghouse takes next steps to build three AP1000 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 3.4 GW as part of NuGen's Moorside nuclear power project in West Cumbria, U.K. (Pictured: Cut-away illustration of a Westinghouse AP1000® nuclear reactor facility)

Westinghouse Electric Company today announced that Toshiba Corporation has agreed in principle to buy a 60 percent share in the NuGeneration Limited (NuGen) Moorside project in West Cumbria, U.K., and they intend to move forward with the AP1000 new-build project in partnership with GDF SUEZ.

The agreement provides that three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 3.4 GW will be built on the U.K. site. The first unit is expected to be online in 2024, helping to support the U.K. government’s low carbon and energy security objectives at a time when existing power plants are retiring and low-carbon generation is required to meet national and international commitments. When fully operational, the Moorside site is expected to deliver approximately seven percent of the electricity requirements in the U.K.

The construction of these new units will create thousands of skilled jobs over the next decade. The deal is expected to significantly boost local, regional and national U.K. economies, with a large portion of the project accessible to the U.K. supply chain. Westinghouse Springfields, a U.K.-licensed fuel manufacturing facility near Preston in Northwest England, will manufacture the fuel for the new AP1000 reactors. The facility currently manufactures fuel for the entire U.K. advanced gas-cooled reactor fleet, and pressurized water reactor fuel for export.

In commenting on the announcement, Westinghouse President and CEO Danny Roderick said: “This is another example of the strong commitment of Toshiba and Westinghouse to serve the global nuclear energy industry and enable countries and regions of the world to achieve their carbon-reduction goals. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the owners of NuGen, as well as nuclear suppliers in Cumbria and throughout the United Kingdom.”

This is the second major agreement signed by Westinghouse recently, having entered into an exclusive agreement with Bulgaria Energy Holding in December 2013 for AP1000 technology. “We have a strong commitment to Europe and to providing the world’s most advanced technology, the AP1000 nuclear plant design, so customers can achieve cost-effective energy security and diversity while not damaging the environment with carbon and greenhouse gas-emitting sources in Europe,” said Mr. Roderick. Westinghouse also was selected as the front-runner in the Czech Republic’s new nuclear unit tender in 2013 and awaits a final decision on that project.

Jeffrey Benjamin, Westinghouse Senior Vice President, Nuclear Power Plants, said, “This project supports the U.K. government’s policy for new nuclear development – the timetable to operation, financial robustness, proven technology, and the project’s overall benefit to the U.K. economy.

The global expertise and commitment of Toshiba, Westinghouse’s world-leading technology vendor status, and GDF SUEZ’s pioneering expertise as a European nuclear operator are a powerful combination. We know that this plant design is the right choice for the future, the right choice for Cumbria and the U.K.,” he said.

In 2011, the U.K. regulators completed their planned assessment of the AP1000 reactor design and issued interim Design Acceptance Confirmation (iDAC) and interim Statement of Design Acceptability (iSODA).

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