By Gary Thomas
Westinghouse Electric and the State Nuclear Baoti Zirconium Industry (SNZ) have started the groundbreaking construction of the State Nuclear WEC Zirconium Hafnium (SNWZH), a new zirconium sponge production facility in Nantong, China.
Nuclear-grade zirconium will be produced at this new SNWZH plant. This material can be used as a key element in the tubing method of nuclear fuel assembly operations. SNWZH shareholders will use zirconium material in order to produce specialized components for use in nuclear fuel assemblies in China and across the world.
Shigenori Shiga, Westinghouse’s CEO, Chairman, and Interim President stated that the company can serve the China market by commissioning this zirconium sponge facility. the company is elated to add to its service base the potential to produce nuclear-grade zirconium sponge to its Chinese customers, besides the construction of four AP1000 power facilities at Haiyang and Sanmen, according to Shiga.
Collaboration between the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and Westinghouse has been extended with the initiation of the Nantong facility. During 2007, Westinghouse and The Shaw Group inked a landmark contract with SNPTC in China in order to offer four AP1000 power plants.
Westinghouse’s COO, Ric Perez stated that the company will closely work with joint-venture partners in order to carry out operations to supply customers with a high-quality product. The operation focuses on operational excellence, safety and quality. All the plants of the company operate based on these standards, according to Perez.