Areva Halts Construction of Virginia Reactor Component Plant

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Areva Halts Construction of Virginia Reactor Component Plant

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Citing unfavorable market conditions, Areva announced on Monday that it will indefinitely suspend construction of the Areva Newport News manufacturing facility.

conceptual rendering of the Areva Newport News manufacturing plantThe plant was to supply heavy parts like reactor vessels and steam generators for Areva’s U.S. EPR reactor.  According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Areva recently told Newport News’ development director that its goal is to restart construction in 18 months, but statements from Areva indicated the company does not know for sure when work on the project will resume. Last year, Areva and partner Huntington Ingalls Industries–Newport News Shipbuilding pushed the plant’s completion date from 2012 to 2013.

The U.S. EPR pressurized water reactor design is currently under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and has been selected in license applications for new reactors at the Bell Bend, Callaway, Calvert Cliffs and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants, according to the NRC. In media reports an Areva spokesman cited uncertainty surrounding U.S. energy policy, DOE loan guarantees for new reactors and the effect the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant has had on the market as reasons for the shutdown.

The cost of the plant was estimated at $360 million when construction began on the 330,000-square-foot building at a Huntington Ingalls shipyard in 2009. (At that point, Huntington Ingalls had not yet been spun off from Northrop Grumman). Areva has indicated it is committed to completing the plant and that layoffs are not expected, as workers at the site will be assigned to other Areva projects.

(Photo: A conceptual rendering of the Areva Newport News manufacturing plant)

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  • There is not a application for an EPR at Bellefonte....

  • Nuke Engineer, Correct. The NRC Application was suspended last year but TVA is still considering restarting Unit 1 construction. In March they awarded a contract to Burns and McDonald to determine the costs, etc. More here:  www.thepressreleasewire.com/.../release.jsp

  • There was an application for 2 new AP1000's at the Bellefonte site that is currently suspended.  Unit's 1 and 2 are a B&W design.  There was never an EPR application (like the article states).  Walkdowns of Unit 1 are being performed to determine cost as of today by a group of several companies.  Burns and McDonald as stated in your article is "to provide project control and information management services to assist TVA SHOULD it decide to complete construction of Unit 1 Bellefonte Nuclear Plant...".

  • Thanks for pointing this out. I rechecked  NRC's list of combined license applications, and you're correct - Bellafonte's application is for an AP1000.  My mistake.

    Peter

    Nuclear Street News Team