Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Toshiba and Westinghouse Expanding in the U.S.

More signs of a nuclear resurgence. From Toshiba:

The new company, Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation, started operation this month, with the primary mission of marketing and promoting advanced boiling water (ABWR) nuclear power plants and providing support for related services. As this business develops, Toshiba also plans to expand the scope of the new company's operations to provide licensing and extensive engineering support related to construction of future nuclear power plants, including plant design and procurement. The new office will be located just outside Washington, D.C.
From Westinghouse:
Westinghouse Electric Company, a Toshiba Group Company based near Pittsburgh, Pa., announced today that it has opened an office in San Jose, Calif., to support the growth of its Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) nuclear power business.

In commenting on the expansion in California, Westinghouse Engineering Services Vice President Nick Liparulo said: "Westinghouse is expanding its BWR capabilities within the U.S. and plans to hire a significant number of new employees to support global BWR growth. Westinghouse is experiencing an exciting time as nuclear energy gains more popularity as the cost-effective energy of choice. We are very happy to be adding San Jose to the Toshiba/Westinghouse family."
Hat tip to Joe Somsel and Rod Adams for the pointers.


Anonymous said...

Fascinating. So as GE Hitachi closes its San Jose, CA offices to concentrate in Wilmington, NC, Westinghouse Toshiba will suck up all the Lungmen people that used to work for GE in San Jose and GE will have fueled its chiefest competitor such that South Texas wion't be done by GE. Hopefully, however, the ESBWR will be more successful than Lungmen and the ABWR have proven to date.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it really is facinating what is going on.

GEH is out of the race to build at STP unless an agreement for the intellectual property linked to the ABWR design certification is offered for sale, and at the right price.

GEH senior management in Wilmington has changed. Former management did not agressively market the ABWR; the focus was on ESBWR. This should be good news for the US ABWR, but it may be too late since Toshiba is making plans for the US market. Toshiba offers plant financing options that GEH can't offer; a very good reason to choose Toshiba to provide your ABWR.

Toshiba is likely to pursue US NRC certification of their version of the ABWR if a deal with GEH cannot be established.

Starvid, Sweden said...

What I'd like to know is the future of the BWR 90+. Sad probably...


Starvid, Sweden said...

PS. AS the BWR90 is really an excellent design. Only two were built, initally at 1050 MW. Then both were uprated to 1200 MW. And now one of those will become a 1450 MW unit.

40 % uprate above the initial output.

Anonymous said...

BWR90s aren't licensed in the US. Their design hasn't been reviewed by the NRC - lengthy, time consuming, expensive process.

ESBWR already in the works. Better chance of success.

I don't think Toshiba-Westinghouse can pull off STP ABWR without GEH.

perdajz said...

You know what it great about these comments? We're talking about the nuclear power industry as if it were any other line of business. We're talking about competing companies with competing products, rather than sniping with Gunter and his ilk at Greenpeace.

I'm puzzled by the second anonymous comment. How does anyone offer financing that GE, namely GE Capital, can't?

Anonymous said...

As to financing, GE Capital wants an arm and a leg, relatively; Japanese interest rates are VERY low.

GE always pursues a high margin business stategy as it runs its conglomerate. Its competitors are taking a market penetration strategy. Result? GE's prices are much higher. I see little reason for GE to stay in a competitive nuclear business.

As to the ESBWR, I hate to diss the competition, but this was conceived as the "politically correct" reactor. Like most political correctness, it ignores reality.

What a reactor being uprated 40% tells me is that it was sloppily designed in the first place. 10% is a reasonable uprate for a design that was professionally tight in the first place, given better tools and improved designs over time.

Joe Somsel

Anonymous said...

I agree with Joe Somsel. I don't think GE is really committed to ESBWR yet. GE tried to de-nuke itself from the late 1980s to early 2000s while Westinghouse was going great guns. GE even sold the rights to ABWR to Toshiba which now owns GE's competitor Westinghouse. At one time it wanted to sell its fuel divison and 3D Monicore, but that's all under GNF at Wilmington, now, as it has essentially been. GE put its eggs into the natural gas turbine and wind turbine market. Now GE is trying to play catch up in the nuke business. It's really behind the rest. As a result, there will always be more PWRs than BWRs. GE focused on the immediacy of profits in the 90s and had no long term vision. Sad, actually. Now Westinghouse will suck up all the San Jose people from GE, and it's even opening an office in Wilmington, I was told, to compete for people here.

As for GE's wind power, if wind power were so darn great, then why aren't cargo ships still sail boats?

And GE did make ESBWR a part of its Ecomagination product line, but you'll never find ESBWR mentioned when GE does its "green is good" Ecomagination commercials on TV. GE is simply not committed to anything but the DOE funding it's getting for ESBWR, and won't be committed until Dominion, Entergy or Exelon come through with a firm order. Fortunately for Entergy, Spitzer's fall from grace in NY State removes one more anti-nuclear obstacle to its nuclear fleet.

Anonymous said...

GEH has a wealth of talented people assigned to the new units projects. GEH is a sleeping giant that has not fully awakened to the opportunities of the nuclear renaissance. The key to GEH’s future will be whether GEH senior and mid level management take ownership of the infrastructure regarding project controls and configuration management practices that are necessary to be more competitive. These are the same practices that existing plant licensees have perfected and have led to a high performance operating fleet