Sunday, January 27, 2008

Westinghouse faces competition for reactor business

The nuclear giant in Pittsburgh says it's nothing they can't handle

The Pittsburgh Tribune reports that while Westinghouse was first in to the Chinese nuclear market, it now faces competition there and in the U.S. from French state-owned Areva. However, a Westinghouse spokesman told the newspaper the competition is expected and the firm plans to earn a significant share of the new nuclear energy market. A quick check of the NRC list of expected license applications confirms that outlook with eight units expected to be included in license applications in 2008. Four units were specified in license applications in 2007.

"Our competitors provide excellent products and service, and it's a tough market," said Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert. "But we feel we're very competitive."

So far no Westinghouse AP1000 units have been built in the U.S. Areva has two EPRs under construction. One is in France and the other in Finland. Areva is partnered with Constellation Energy out of Baltimore in the U.S.

Right now the designs are on tens of thousands of pages of paper, but that will likely change as the licensing applications come in and construction gets underway around the nation. Some of the near-term challenges Westinghouse faces are summed up in the current negotiations the firm is completing with Georgia Power.

Full disclosure - I was a source for this article and am cited in it by name and as publisher of this blog. Here's my above the fold sound byte.

"Nobody has a preferred position there," Yurman said. "The Chinese are doing business with everyone."

Yup, that about sums it up. Good night Chet.

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