Westinghouse Electric Company has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Slovakia's JAVYS on the potential deployment of its AP1000 reactors and AP300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in the country.

From left: Petr Brzezina, President, Westinghouse Czech Republic and Slovakia; Elias Gedeon, SVP, Westinghouse; US Ambassador to Slovakia Gautam Rana; Pavol Štuller (Image: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse said that the MoUs "will create a framework for the two parties to collaborate on detailed technical and developmental plans, while exploring the next steps to implement the proven reactor technologies in Slovakia".

Gautam Rana, the US Ambassador to Slovakia, said: "This represents another milestone in joint efforts by the governments of the United States and the Slovak Republic to achieve energy security and sustainability in Slovakia with a forward-looking focus on world-class technology."

David Durham, Westinghouse President for Energy Systems, said: "Slovakia is a country that understands well the benefits of nuclear energy and we are very excited to be working with the JAVYS team to secure their energy future with our advanced, proven AP1000 and AP300 reactor technologies."

Pavol Štuller, Chairman and CEO of JAVYS, which is state-owned, said: "We have rich experience with Westinghouse, as we have been collaborating on specific projects related to the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Jaslovské Bohunice for a long time. In addition, Westinghouse is involved in and contributes to the processes of diversification of fresh nuclear fuel for reactors in Slovakia."

He said the MoUs created a framework for cooperation between the two companies in the implementation of future projects and would lead to "a wider exchange of information in the field of new technologies so that we can assess their suitability for inclusion in the Slovak energy network. The signing of memoranda does not establish any exclusivity, because we want to develop similar relationships with other companies as well." But, he said, it means that if and when the government "takes a decision on the location and type of a new nuclear source, we want to be a responsible manager of this process so that we can evaluate the possible benefit of the types of reactors offered by Westinghouse".

The AP1000, a pressurised water reactor, (PWR) is described by Westinghouse as a Generation III+ reactor with fully passive safety systems. Four AP1000 units are currently operating in China - two at Sanmen and two at Haiyang - and two units are set to enter service at the Vogtle site in the USA over the next year or so. AP1000 technology has also been selected for proposed new nuclear in Poland, Ukraine and Bulgaria.

Westinghouse also says "the technology is under consideration at multiple other sites in Central and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom and in the United States".

The company launched its AP300 SMR in May. It is a single-loop PWR based on the AP1000 technology and Westinghouse hopes to get design certification by 2027, with construction of a first unit beginning in 2030, with operation slated for 2033.

Slovakia has four nuclear reactors - Mochovce units 1 and 2 and Bohunice units 3 and 4 - in commercial operation, generating half of its electricity. Mochovce unit 3 was connected to the grid in February, while unit 4 is under construction. A siting permit application was also submitted to the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority earlier this year for a new nuclear power plant near the existing Bohunice plant, by Jadrová Energetická Spoločnosť Slovenska - a joint venture between Slovak radioactive waste management company JAVYS and Czech utility ČEZ.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 18 July 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Slovakia-signs-MoU-over-AP1000-and-AP300-SMRs