Westinghouse and Exelon to Pursue Saudi Nuclear Plant Development

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Westinghouse and Exelon to Pursue Saudi Nuclear Plant Development

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Exelon Nuclear Partners, Westinghouse and its corporate parent Toshiba announced an agreement Monday the companies hope will boost their prospects for building new nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.

The Middle Eastern country in 2010 announced plans to build as many as 16 reactors over the next two decades. It is part of a broader overhaul of the fossil-fuel-dominated Saudi electric market known as the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. International vendors have since been positioning themselves to win a piece of the $80 billion it's estimated the Saudi nuclear fleet would cost.

The memorandum of understanding between Exelon, Toshiba and Westinghouse paves the way for a joint proposal from the companies. Under it, Exelon would handle operations and associated services, while Toshiba and Westinghouse offer their advanced reactor designs, according to a Westinghouse release. While a similar agreement has been in place since 2010 between Exelon and Toshiba, which markets the GE-Hitachi Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, the MOU announced this week also allows the companies to promote the Westinghouse AP-1000 pressurized water reactor.

According to the World Nuclear Association, Saudi Arabia has sought civilian nuclear agreements with France, China, Argentina, Russia, the U.K., South Korea and the U.S. Korea Electric Power Co. hosted a meeting last week with Saudi nuclear industry players on localization of equipment and materials for potential reactor construction, according to a report from Business Korea.

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  • I doubt that the 2010 MOU between Toshiba and Exelon is to market GE-Hitachi's ABWR design.  Perhaps it is to market Toshiba's ABWR design.  Also, according to other reports today, Exelon and GE-Hitachi have signed an MOU similar to the Exelon-Toshiba-Westinghouse MOU.  Looks like Exelon is trying to cover as many bases as possible.