An encouraging bit of environmental news - in Dec 06, the Chinese signed a contract
with the Westinghouse company to build four new nuclear reactors. Two will be at Sanmen, Zhejiang province, and the
other two at Yany jiang, Guangdong. The plants are the AP 1000 units, which generate 1100 MW each. The four-reactor
contract is worth about $5.3 billion.
Westinghouse, bought by Toshiba in October, is likely to be favourite in bidding to supply 26 more reactors by
2020 as China turns to atomic energy, to cut coal pollution and reduce reliance on oil.
The contract to build the plants for China National Nuclear Corporation ends two years of negotiating by
Westinghouse and its two main rivals, Areva and AtomStroyExport. China is aiming at getting 4% of its power from
nuclear energy by 2020, from about 2.3% now. It will need to add two reactors a year.
The price of the nuclear power from the AP 1000 units is given as between $1.00 and $1.20 per installed watt
on the Westinghouse website. (about £0.50 - £0.60) At a load factor of 75% this is £0.67 - £0.80 per
watt delivered. It's interesting to note that the price is a small fraction of that of wind power. Click on
prices for the comparison.
Westinghouse says that the plants should be operating in six years.
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