[ RadSafe ] Westinghouse gets landmark nuclear deal

Dustin G Miller DGMiller at enercon.com
Wed Apr 9 08:00:16 CDT 2008

Westinghouse gets landmark nuclear deal

By  <mailto:tolson at tribweb.com> Thomas Olson
Wednesday, April 9, 2008 

Westinghouse Electric Co. on Tuesday landed the first contract for a new
nuclear power plant in the United States in 30 years. 

The Monroeville company agreed to supply Georgia Power with two AP1000
nuclear power plants for a site near Waynesboro, Ga. Also signing the
engineering, procurement and construction contract was The Shaw Group, which
owns 20 percent of Westinghouse. 

"Today, the long-awaited nuclear renaissance in the United States has
dawned," said Westinghouse chief executive Steve Tritch in a memo announcing
the contract to employees. 

Similar deals are likely to follow. American electric utilities have
committed to acquiring at least 14 AP1000 reactor units from Westinghouse,
according to plans filed with the U.S. Nuclear Power Commission. 

"Agreements like this one announced today with Georgia Power will also
ensure that the United States will have the power it will need to support
long-term economic growth," Tritch said. 

The two AP1000 units are expected to be placed in service in 2016 and 2017,
pending final certification by the Georgia Public Service Commission, said
The Shaw Group. 

The AP1000 is a pressurized water reactor with a more streamlined and
efficient design than previous power plants and more economical to operate,
Westinghouse said. One unit can produce enough electricity for more than
800,000 homes. 

The Shaw Group, of Baton Rouge, La., will construct the power plant at the
Alvin W. Vogtle site in northeast Georgia, south of Augusta. Westinghouse
will provide the plant design, components and nuclear fuel. 

The companies declined to give the value of the Georgia Power contract. 

Tritch was in Georgia for the contract signing, which occurred about 5 p.m.,
and not available for further comment 

The contract won't add more jobs at Westinghouse, but it will help
perpetuate the company's pace of hiring, said spokesman Vaughn Gilbert.
Westinghouse hired about 1,300 workers last year and will continue to add
"several hundred more" a year for several more years, he said. 

Westinghouse expects to create 1,000 to 2,000 jobs by 2016. The company
employs more than 10,000 worldwide, including 4,000 in the region. To house
the growth, Westinghouse plans to move its campus from Monroeville to a
larger facility in Cranberry early next year. 

Much of the corporation's newfound growth has been driven by China.
Westinghouse signed a $5.3 billion contract in July to build four nuclear
reactors for that nation to supply its burgeoning power needs. 

"We're actually ahead of schedule there," Gilbert said. "We started clearing
the ground a month ago, and engineering is under way. We'll officially begin
construction in 2009." 

Last week, South Carolina Electric & Gas agreed to have Westinghouse and The
Shaw Group purchase materials for two Westinghouse reactors that the utility
would use in a power plant that could be placed into service in 2016. 

Thomas Olson can be reached at tolson at tribweb.com or 412-320-7854.


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