Westinghouse completes fabrication of fuel assemblies for AP1000 nuclear plant

Author: Spencer Ogden
Date posted27/Mar/2012
Author: Spencer Ogden

Westinghouse Electric Company has completed fabrication of all 157 fuel assemblies and related components for the operation the AP1000 nuclear power plant, Sanmen Unit 1, in Zhejiang province, China.


The fuel assemblies were completed at Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility in Columbia, South Carolina.

The assemblies were delivered to the Sanmen Nuclear Power Company for later shipment to China.

Sanmen Unit 1 is scheduled to start generating electricity in the next year.

Columbia Plant manager David Precht said up until now, the Columbia plant has been producing fuel primarily for the first generation of plants across the globe, but now it is introducing a new fleet of plants -- AP1000 or 'Advanced Passive' plants -- that will need fuel until late in the century.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has awarded amended design certification for the AP1000 reactor to further improve safety and reduce construction and operating costs.

Westinghouse is pursuing production of AP1000 fuel across its global manufacturing facilities.

The AP1000 design uses natural cooling and gravity-driven systems to keep the reactor safe, even under the extreme conditions of a Fukushima-type event.