Westinghouse signs a $250m nuclear fuel contract with Palo Verde

Westinghouse Electric Co. has signed a $250m contract with Arizona Public Service (APS) to provide nuclear fuel to the Palo Verde nuclear station in Wintersburg, Ariz.

Westinghouse announced the agreement with the Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) subsidiary on Jan. 7. The announcement did not specify the length of the agreement.

Palo Verde , located about 55 miles west of downtown Phoenix, has three nuclear units together capable of generating more than 4,000 MW of electricity.

Westinghouse said the contract involves fabricating and delivering the vendor’s newest fuel product for the Combustion Engineering (CE) pressurized water reactor (PWR) fleet.

The fuel has operated successfully in two other similar units in the United States to date, Westinghouse said.

The contract is an extension with Westinghouse to continue fabricating and delivering fuel to three reactors that APS operates at its Palo Verde site. A new component to the contract includes the transition engineering and licensing required to deploy the new fuel design, Westinghouse said.

The Westinghouse next generation fuel (NGF), called CE16NGFTM, incorporates proprietary materials, such as advanced cladding material and burnable absorbers, and advances in structural design that improve the fuel’s efficiency and reliability while also increasing its service life, Westinghouse said in a news release.

“This contract extension represents a confidence in Westinghouse not only to continue delivering high-performing fuel, but faith in our ability to develop first-of-a-kind products. I am pleased to continue our relationship with APS and this fuel delivery is one important component of our long-standing relationship,” said Westinghouse Americas President Mark Marano said.

Westinghouse today provides nuclear fuel to 145 plants globally, 55 of which are in the United States.

Westinghouse, Bechtel form alliance to deal with old nuclear sites

A couple of days earlier, Westinghouse announced a multi-year alliance agreement with Bechtel to provide tailored decontamination, decommissioning and remediation (DD&R) services to U.S. commercial nuclear power plants.

Leveraging each company’s more than 50 years of global nuclear experience, the alliance will provide the U.S. nuclear energy market with a comprehensive scope of DD&R services. Examples of these services include pre-shutdown planning, characterization, decontamination, licensing, project development and management, dismantling, demolition, waste handling and site close-out, the parties said in a Jan. 5 news release.

Several domestic nuclear units have retired in the past couple of years and as many as eight units could be in danger of premature retirement, according to a recent analysis by Fitch Ratings.

Westinghouse provides fuel, services, technology, plant design and equipment for the commercial nuclear power industry. It is also involved with the construction of new nuclear plants in Georgia and South Carolina.

Westinghouse Electric is a group company of Toshiba Corp.

Bechtel has been a leader in the nuclear industry for more than 60 years, having performed services on 88% of the domestic nuclear power fleet. Bechtel provides engineering, project management and construction services. Bechtel has worked on thousands of projects spanning all seven continents.

A few months ago, Bechtel completed construction of a new natural gas power plant in Texas for Panda Power Funds.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.