NuCrane Manufacturing, a joint venture set up between Westinghouse subsidiary PaR Nuclear and Huchinson Manufacturing Inc. in September, has begun fabricating, assembling and testing speciality cranes for nuclear power plants.

The company is tasked to supply cranes for AP1000 plants under construction in China and planned for the USA.

NuCrane’s first project is the manufacture of a polar crane and cask-handling crane for China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) Sanmen 1 nuclear power plant currently being built in Zhejiang Province in China. Production of these cranes is on schedule and the cranes will be shipped from Minnesota to China in mid-2011.

Crane production for the first new nuclear power plant in the USA, Southern Nuclear Company’s Vogtle 3, is projected to start in 2011. Southern Company was selected as one of the USA’s first recipients of a federal loan guarantee in February and recently agreed to the terms of the $3.4 billion loan guarantee. Site preparation works already underway and commercial operation of Vogtle 3 is expected to begin in 2016.

The cranes are being manufactured in a new 51,000-square-foot factory near HMI’s existing site in Hutchinson, Minnesota. The facility is making cranes weighing up to 1.3 million pounds and measuring as high as 43 feet, complementing PaR Nuclear’s capability for provision of fuel-handling equipment and outage critical cranes.

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