Westinghouse, one of the world’s leading nuclear supply companies, is attempting to break into the small reactor market.
- On Thursday, May 4, Westinghouse Electric Co. announced the AP300, a smaller version of its existing AP1000 nuclear reactor that can be assembled and stored in smaller modular spaces.
- The compact reactor will be able to generate 300 megawatts and be installed for $1 billion.
- The AP300 could reach markets between 2027 and 2033, pending federal approval.
Why It’s News
Nuclear energy, the subject of strong opposition over the last few decades, is now regaining support as the global search for clean energy options strengthens. Westinghouse is the largest nuclear supplier in the U.S. Its announcement reflects some of the ongoing shifts in demand for nuclear energy amid the ongoing clean energy revolution. Westinghouse President David Durham notes as much, saying that he is confident that the company is going to successfully work through the licensing process and break out into the small reactor market in a notable way.
As we previously reported, miniaturized nuclear power stands to have a significant market share in the coming decades. Nuclear startup Radiant is attempting to finance and deploy small nuclear reactors the size of shipping containers that can serve as clean replacements for small diesel generators for emergency situations and military deployments.
Backing Up A Bit
In an effort to meet the United Nation’s climate goals by 2050, countries have begun investing heavily in shifting the global economy in the next 27 years. The Inflation Reduction Act and European Sovereignty Fund set aside billions of dollars in investments for clean energy.
Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future among them, as political pressure from anti-nuclear groups has resulted in new reactor production stalling as existing plants are shut down. Germany shut down its final three reactors in April. The U.S. is currently attempting to extend the lifespan of existing reactors while installing new reactors in Georgia, which has faced repeated delays.