China seen buying Westinghouse reactors for $24 billion nuclear energy projects

Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:18am EDT
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* Westinghouse in talks to sell eight AP1000 Reactors

* Nuclear plants, with machinery and services, may cost $24 billion

* Liaoning's Xudapu and Guangdong's Lufeng part of discussion

* Sanmen 1 to connect to grid in 2015

By Matthew Miller

BEIJING, April 21 (Reuters) - China may sign as early as next year the first of several contracts for eight new nuclear reactors from Westinghouse Electric Co, as the government presses ahead with the world's biggest civilian nuclear power expansion since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

China's main nuclear power companies are moving forward with talks to buy the third-generation Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, said Timothy Collier, China managing director of the U.S.-based company. The eight projects, including machinery and services, are expected to cost $24 billion.

"We are currently in various stages of negotiations for eight new units," Collier told Reuters. Westinghouse is majority owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp and its reactors are the blueprint for China's own nuclear technology.

China currently has 20 nuclear power reactors online, with another 28 under construction, as it seeks to reduce its reliance on costly and polluting fossil fuels to generate electricity. Sun Qin, chairman of major nuclear plant operator China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) recently told Reuters another 20 nuclear reactors may be built within the next six years.   Continued...