A little more than three years ago, I wrote an article expressing my belief that the four AP100s that Westinghouse sold to China in a landmark deal signed in December 2006 would be the only four reactors of that model that Westinghouse ever sold in China. In fact, I wondered at the time if Westinghouse would end up competing against its Chinese pupils in the international market. The post was titled China may export the technology learned by building modern reactors.
The first stage of the prediction has been achieved. Yesterday, China announced a framework agreement for the construction of two units of Westinghouse designed AP1000s. Though the Shaw Group, a partial Westinghouse owner, will be participating in the deal, there is apparently no specified role for the plant designer. Here is a quote from a World Nuclear News article titled Contracts for the next Chinese AP1000s:
A framework has been established for two AP1000 units at Xianning as well as a factory for their pre-assembled modules. Shaw will continue its role in support, but Westinghouse has no major involvement.
A round of contracts signed yesterday marked a triple-first for Chinese nuclear. The first inland AP1000 project at Xianning, Hubei province; the first AP1000 project for utility China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) and the country’s move to the next phase of its self-sufficiency plan.
Four AP1000s were imported from a Westinghouse-Shaw consortium in December 2006 and these are all now mid-construction. That first phase saw Westinghouse and Shaw lead construction and gradually pass know-how to State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC).
Once again, a major US corporation has made a sale, taken technology developed with the assistance of a significant quantity of taxpayer dollars and paid American employees to live overseas to teach their replacements how to perform their skilled jobs. I wonder how long it will take before the Chinese begin offering CAP1000s in a major, UAE-like opportunity for nuclear power plant sales?