Mitsubishi weighs into US market

4 July 2006

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has announced plans to enter the emerging US reactor market with a version of its advanced pressurised water reactor (APWR), which will be branded the ‘US-APWR’.

The Japanese company has also launched a subsidiary, MHI Nuclear Energy Systems (MNES), based in Washington, to handle the process, market the reactor and attract orders for replacement nuclear power components.

Two similar APWR units are planned for construction at Tsuruga in Japan to produce 1538MWe each for Japan Atomic Power Company. American units, however, would feature modifications MHI say US companies demand. Improvements include greater economy through the increase of capacity to 1700MWe, a 20% reduction in plant building volume and a level of thermal efficiency which MHI claim is the world’s best: 39%.

MHI expect to receive design certification of the US-APWR from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of 2011; a preliminary hearing will be conducted in July and the formal application will be submitted in early 2008.

Mitsubishi’s APWR was developed from Westinghouse PWR designs during a collaboration between the two companies to produce a reactor for the Japanese market but Hiroshi Inoue, vice president of MNES told, a news conference: "Now that our development partner Westinghouse Electric has been bought by Toshiba, we need to start doing business on our own, and decided to enter the US market."

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