28.09.2017_No194 / News in Brief

Westinghouse Says It Remains Committed To UK SMR Development

Research & Development

28 Sep (NucNet): Westinghouse Electric Company said today it remains committed to developing a 225-MW small modular reactor (SMR) that the company believes will allow the UK to move from buyer to global provider of SMR technology.

A computer-generated image of a Westinghouse SMR nuclear station. Photo courtesy Westinghouse.

The company said in a statement that more than 85% of its SMR’s design, licence and procurement scope can be delivered by the UK. The fuel would be manufactured at its Springfields facility in northern England.

“This is a special offering that only Westinghouse, with UK partners, can deliver,” the statement said.

The Generation III+ Westinghouse SMR design benefits from sharing platforms, systems, and processes with the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology.

The AP1000 reactor design completed the UK generic design assessment (GDA) in March 2017, resulting in a fully licensed plant ready for UK deployment.

Rolls-Royce said in a report last week that SMR projects could deliver electricity for a similar cost to offshore wind. Rolls-Royce and its consortium partners, including Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Laing O’Rourke and Nuvia, say the UK SMR they are developing could produce energy for as low as £60 (€66, $79) per MWh, which is competitive against wind and solar and significantly lower than the £92.50 per MWh agreed by the government and project developer EDF for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear station.

Media reports in the UK have suggested that ministers are ready to approve the development of a fleet of SMRs to help guard against electricity shortages as older nuclear power stations are decommissioned.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy protection in the US March 2017, citing costs from the Summer and Vogtle nuclear projects in the US.

Company president and chief executive officer José Gutiérrez said the problems that led to the Chapter 11 filing had nothing to do with the AP1000 technology and that AP1000 reactors being built in China are proceeding well.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy protection in the US to protect its core businesses and give the company time to restructure for continuing operation.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • The Cost Of SMRs: How Rolls-Royce Aims To Compete With Wind And Solar (Insider No.16, 25 September 2017)




David Dalton

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