Major moves by Westinghouse boost prospects for Vogtle, V.C. Summer

The firm buys CB&I and names Fluor as the contractor to build four 1100 MW AP1000 nuclear reactors

(NucNet) Westinghouse Electric Company has signed an agreement to CB&I’s nuclear construction business. The agreement includes the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina, the Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia and AP1000 nuclear projects in China.

In addition, Westinghouse will acquire CB&I’s nuclear integrated services business, which includes small capital projects for existing nuclear plants in the US. Westinghouse said the deal supports Westinghouse’s growth in decontamination, decommissioning and remediation services. The transaction is subject to conditions and is expected to be completed by December 2015.

Fluor takes over at four AP1000 construction projects

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) confirmed it has been named by Westinghouse to manage construction of two Westinghouse AP1000® nuclear power reactor projects in Georgia and South Carolina, owned and operated by Southern Company and SCANA/Santee Cooper, respectively. The firm will start work immediately.

Fluor will manage a significant portion of the construction of Vogtle Electric Generating Plant’s Units 3 & 4 near Waynesboro, Georgia, and two additional nuclear electric generating units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station located in Fairfield County, South Carolina. The firm will manage all staff on these sites.

Fluor and Westinghouse have further agreed that Fluor’s scope will be performed on a cost reimbursable basis, without liability for pre-existing conditions associated with prior construction.

Litigation settled for $350 million

(NucNet) In a related development, Georgia Power, the largest partner in the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion, said all four co-owners have reached an agreement to settle litigation over responsibility for delays at the project. The company said the contractors for the Vogtle expansion, Westinghouse and CB&I, have entered into a transaction that will “position Westinghouse and its affiliates as the sole contractor over the project”.

As a result, Georgia Power and the other Vogtle co-owners – Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities – have agreed on terms to settle all claims. Georgia Power will pay $350m to settle all claims over responsibility for the delays, ending litigation in federal court in Georgia.

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, said the agreement resolves current and pending disputes, reaffirms the schedule and “increases efficiencies” by streamlining resource deployment with Westinghouse and its affiliates. The agreement also reaffirms the in-service dates of 2019 for Unit 3 and 2020 for Unit 4. Construction of the new units, near Waynesboro in Georgia, is “progressing well” and more than half way complete based on contractual milestones, Georgia Power said.

Delayed Reactor Cooling Pumps pass all tests

In what has to be a major milestone for the three firms, Westinghouse Electric Company, Curtiss-Wright Corporation and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) of China announced the successful completion of final performance testing and post-test inspections of the lead AP1000® plant reactor coolant pump (RCP). Throughout the testing, the reactor coolant pump performance met the design requirements which are necessary to support safe and reliable AP1000 plant operation. Issues with performance of the pumps have delayed completion of four nuclear reactors under construction in China.

The achievement will result in the shipment of the first and second Sanmen Unit 1 RCPs for arrival on site by Dec. 31, 2015, to support key upcoming project milestones at Sanmen Unit 1, the world’s first AP1000 plant. Successful test completion also will lead to fabrication and delivery of the remaining two reactor coolant pumps for Sanmen Unit 1, and the reactor coolant pumps for the seven additional AP1000 units currently under construction in China and the United States.

The final performance testing has verified successful reactor coolant pump operation during a full range of AP1000 plant operating conditions for more than 1,600 total hours, including more than 600 start-and-stop cycles. Extensive China regulator reviews and detailed post-test inspections are now complete and confirmed that the reactor coolant pump performed as designed during the final performance testing. Curtiss-Wright conducted the testing and inspection at its Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD) facility in Cheswick, Pennsylvania. (USA).

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