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Dutch government has chosen Borssele site as preferred location for two new reactors

Michel Heijdra (left), director-general for climate and energy at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, signed the contract with Westinghouse’s senior vice-president of energy systems commercial operations, Elias Gedeon.

US-based Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with the Dutch government to conduct a technical feasibility study assessing the deployment of AP1000 reactors in support of the Netherlands’ nuclear new-build strategy.

Westinghouse said in a press release the study will evaluate deployment of two AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Borssele nuclear power station.

Borssele, in the province of Zeeland in the southwest of the Netherlands, is the country’s only commercial nuclear power station. It has a single 482-MW pressurised water reactor unit that began commercial operation in 1973.

Michel Heijdra, director-general for climate and energy at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, signed the contract with Westinghouse with the company’s senior vice-president of energy systems commercial operations, Elias Gedeon.

According to Westinghouse, the technical feasibility study represents a significant step forward in the Netherland’s ambitious strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, aligning with the European Union's climate goals and the Dutch commitment to carbon-neutral electricity production by 2035.

‘Preliminary But Crucial Phase’

Westinghouse energy systems president David Durham said the study is a “preliminary yet crucial” phase to deliver advanced, Generation III+ reactor technology.

According to Westinghouse, the AP1000 reactor is the only operating Generation III+ reactor with fully passive safety systems, modular construction design and the smallest footprint per MW on the market.

In the US, at the Vogtle site in Georgia, one AP1000 unit achieved commercial operation in July 2023 and is producing power for the grid, while a second unit recently achieved initial criticality with commercial operation projected during the second quarter of 2024.

Four AP1000 reactors – two at Sanmen and two at Haiyang – are operating in China with eight additional reactors under construction.

Poland has chosen the AP1000 reactor for its nuclear energy programme, Ukraine has made firm commitments for nine AP1000 units and Bulgaria selected the AP1000 technology for two units at the Kozloduy nuclear site. The technology is also under consideration at multiple other sites in Central and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, India and North America, Westinghouse said.

In December 2022 the Dutch government chose the Borssele site as its preferred location for the proposed construction of two new nuclear power reactor units.

The government said the units should be deployed by 2035, each have a capacity of between 1,000 MW and 1,650 MW, and use Generation III+ reactor technology.

Energy minister Rob Jetten said in June the Netherlands was talking to “three potential and interested suppliers” to build two new nuclear power plants, according to Dutch news agency ANP.

Reports in the Netherlands said the three were Westinghouse, the French state-owned company EDF and South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP). There was no mention of two other major nuclear plant suppliers – Russia’s state corporation Rosatom and China’s state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation.

Date: Friday, 23 February 2024
Original article: nucnet.org/news/westinghouse-to-evaluate-ap1000-reactor-technology-for-ambitious-new-nuclear-programme-2-4-2024