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Westinghouse ‘Absolutely Committed’ to U.K. Nuclear Rollout

Westinghouse Electric Co. said it’s committed to the U.K. as the company seeks to ensure its AP1000 model is among the nation’s new generation of nuclear reactors.

“Our vision for Westinghouse is that we will be one of the main players in the U.K. for decades to come,” Michael Tynan, who heads up the local unit, told reporters yesterday at a conference in London. “We’re absolutely committed to the U.K.”

Britain, trying to replace aging plants and cut carbon dioxide emissions, is one of just three western European countries still pursuing plans for new nuclear plants following last year’s Fukushima disaster. Westinghouse, which already provides nuclear fuel to U.K. reactors, and Areva SA have submitted designs to the government for new reactors.

Westinghouse, which is owned by Toshiba Corp., sees “massive opportunities“ in the U.K. in the next decade, Tynan said. He declined to say whether Westinghouse is bidding for a stake in RWE AG and EON AG’s Horizon nuclear project, put up for sale earlier this year.

Westinghouse may join China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. and Exelon Corp. to buy a stake in Horizon, the Financial Times reported in July, without saying where it got the information. GE Hitachi may be interested in bidding as well, the report said. Areva has already confirmed it may put in a joint bid with China’s Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp.

“Horizon is likely to make a decision on which way they’re going to go in the next several months,” said Sandy Rupprecht, senior vice president for the development of the nuclear power plant business at Westinghouse. “Depending on what that selection is -- if there were to be a model in there where an AP1000 were to be chosen -- then we would likely start in earnest with re-constituting a U.K.-based team.”

Areva is working with Electricite de France SA to build a new nuclear station at Hinkley Point in southwest England, with a final investment decisions pending later this year. The Horizon reactors would come online at a later date.

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