A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Westinghouse and Brazil's state-owned Nuclebras Equipamentos Pesados (Nuclep) paves the way for the companies to collaborate on the fabrication of AP1000 reactor components in Brazil.

Westinghouse vice president James Cable and Nuclep president Jaime Cardoso at the signing ceremony (Image: Westinghouse)

The MOU focuses on developing local technical capabilities and flags Westinghouse's commitment to localization as the company looks to opportunities for the AP1000 in the region. "The construction of AP1000 nuclear power plants in Brazil would create thousands of high-paying jobs in the country, expand the industrial capabilities and support the next generation of nuclear professionals who will deploy safe, clean and economical nuclear energy," the company said in a statement.

Brazil's two operating pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plants at Angra supply about 3% of the country's electricity. Angra 1 (626 MWe) was supplied by Westinghouse while Angra 2 (1270 MWe) was supplied by German vendor KWU, which was subsequently integrated into Siemens Power Generation Group, ultimately becoming Areva NP after Siemens' 2009 decision to withdraw from the reactor business. Areva is also completing a third Angra unit which is scheduled to start up next year.

Brazilian operator Eletronuclear has proposed building up to four further units at two sites in Brazil, and is considering the Westinghouse AP1000, as well as the Areva-Mitsubishi Atmea-1 and Atomstroyexport's VVER-1000. "Recent statements by the Brazilian government have reinforced its desire to expand nuclear generation in Brazil with several new nuclear projects by 2050," Westinghouse said.

Westinghouse's current activities in Brazil include providing technical support to nuclear operator Eletronuclear as well as a partnership with Industrías Nucleares do Brasil on fuel and manufacturing technologies.

Nuclep president Jaime Cardoso said the new MOU would support Brazil's established nuclear supplier base. "Our relationship with Westinghouse is strong and this initiative will strengthen and expand our nuclear manufacturing capabilities," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Date: Friday, 19 June 2015
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Brazilian-AP1000-collaboration-for-Westinghouse