Dailytech.com posted a blog titled Toshiba Establishes New U.S. Nuclear Business. It provides some details about Toshiba’s plans for developing its nuclear business here in the United States. It emphasizes the fact that the Westinghouse purchase from last year is only a part of a larger plan.
The parent company has a diverse product line that includes the Super Small, Safe and Simple (4S) 10 MWe liquid metal cooled reactor that has been proposed to power Galena, Alaska, Westinghouse’s AP-600 and AP-1000 Pressurized Water Reactors, and GE-Toshiba designed Advanced Boiling Water Reactors. Both Toshiba and Westinghouse have large, experienced nuclear trained workforces, but each brings a complementary set of skills to the team.
Westinghouse has been manufacturing a wide range of nuclear fuels and providing ongoing services to the large installed base of reactors around the world that use its pressurized water technology. Westinghouse is also heavily involved in the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project in South Africa and has already begun discussions with the NRC about bringing that technology to the US after the demonstration unit is up and running in South Africa.
Toshiba has workers with recent new construction experience, having led the consortium that has successfully built three ABWRs in Japan. (Units 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station and Unit 5 at Hamaoka.) According to the company press release describing the new Toshiba America Nuclear Corporation, a major part of the new unit’s mission is to provide a forum for knowledge transfer between the Westinghouse and Toshiba branches of the company.
The new company will be headquartered in Alexandria, VA, putting it reasonably close to the DC headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Since the company has so many possible new projects in the works, there will be a need to for frequent trips through DC to Rockville. A word of advice from a fellow DC commuter to future Toshiba employees – become very familiar with the Metro schedules. Surface transport from Alexandria to Rockville is often a nightmare.