* Westinghouse in talks to sell eight AP1000 Reactors
* Nuclear plants, with machinery and services, may cost $24
* Liaoning's Xudapu and Guangdong's Lufeng part of
* Sanmen 1 to connect to grid in 2015
By Matthew Miller
BEIJING, April 21 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.
China has vowed to more than double the installed nuclear
generation capacity to 58 gigawatts (GW) by the end of the
decade. Nuclear installed capacity currently stands at 15.69 GW,
according to the latest official data.
The eight new Westinghouse reactors will be built at four
locations including Sanmen, in the coastal Zhejiang province,
and Haiyang in northeastern Shandong province, where another
four Westinghouse AP1000 reactors are under construction.
Sanmen's first unit is expected to be connected to the grid
in 2015, Collier said.
CNNC and China General Nuclear Power Group are also holding
talks to buy four additional reactors, which will be built in
Xudapu in Liaoning province and Lufeng, in southern Guangdong
province, Collier said. The projects have already been approved
by the government.
China's nuclear expansion is attracting many equipment
suppliers, including French power firms Alstom SA and
Candu Energy Inc., a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group
, is also working with CNNC to start converting two
Candu 6 reactors at Qinshan in Zhejiang province, to burn
reprocessed uranium fuel.
"There's a huge potential for Canada and Candu energy,"
Ontario's Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi told
Reuters during a visit to Beijing last week.
"If China is going to build 100 reactors in the next 20
years, they require 25 Candu reactors to burn the spent fuel
coming from the light-water reactors."
China suspended in 2011 approvals for new nuclear power
stations for more than a year and ordered comprehensive checks
on all operating plants after a powerful earthquake and tsunami
wrecked the Fukushima plant.
(Additional reporting by Huang Yan and David Stanway; Editing
by Miral Fahmy)