Westinghouse fails in China
Due to the ongoing fiascos of the first AP1000 in China, frequent changes of the management, and the financial troubles of the parent company-Toshiba, Westinghouse gradually lost its ground in the Chinese nuclear market. On the verge of the nuclear renaissance in the “13th Five-year Plan”, Westinghouse needs to re-design its strategy in Chinese nuclear market.
Even if Westinghouse could finish the fuel loading for Sanmen Unit 1 Project by the end of this year, it still faces lots of dilemma: China North Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd has already mastered the skills to fabricate AP1000 fuel assembly with the success of the qualification appraisal of the AP1000 fuel production line. CNNF started the first-round negotiation of the supply contract with Sanmen, Haiyang, Lufeng and the Demonstration project etc. According the AP1000 technology transfer agreement between China and US, the first batch of AP1000 fuel will be fabricated in US Columbia Nuclear Fuel Plant, while the others will be supplied by China’s company exclusively. CNNC Baotou Nuclear Fuel plant is the first domestic that can manufacture the qualified AP1000 fuel, weakening the position of Westinghouse.
The US has no nuclear for almost 30 years in its mainland, which led to the loss of the nuclear professional talents in Westinghouse. The reality of continuous loss of the joint ventures in China in successive years has indeed made Westinghouse experience the hardest time.
Westinghouse is still aggressive in China in other sectors such as major equipment, refurbishment, nuclear grade Zirconium and nuclear service.