Shaw Group is a partner in the AP1000 nuclear reactors (Westinghouse/Toshiba). Shaw Group gets part of the revenue per AP1000 reactor is between $2 billion and $2.5 billion per reactor on an EPC basis. They get 20% of the profits on the sale of the reactor units. The reactors are currently somewhere around $3,500 of KW, something in that range plus or minus 20%. The Shaw Group is the architect engineers for the AP1000 reactor group consortium.
As of the May 31, 2008 conference call:
we’ve gotten four reactors so far. Last year about this time we told you we’d have two to eight so we’ve got four reactors. We have a Letter of Intent for two more reactors in the United States and that’s with Progress and that should go to—hopefully go to an EPC contract in the next two, three, four months. In addition to that in the United States we feel comfortable that we will again be awarded two to eight reactors over the next calendar year in the US in calendar of 2009. South Africa it’s pretty publically known that the project is between three and 18 reactors with our competition being Areva and that’s about the only comment I have on that.
The UK market continues to develop quicker then we thought and that market should follow very closely with the US market. India we are still hopeful that during the calendar year that the treaty with the current Bush administration will be signed and I think that there’s some movement on India due to the political parties having a—I think the government has come to some type of understanding with the minority party that that may have promise for the rest of the year as well. We continue to—those are the major markets with the exception of China, the other markets throughout the world are mostly smaller, a couple of reactors in different countries. But the global market is developing and continues to develop faster and faster with the search for long-term economical sources of energy.
Steel increase may be $100 million on a nuclear power plant, if you start to look at the effect of the cost of electricity over 40 years on a $7 billion to $10 billion plant, its inconsequential.
David Yuschak – SMH Capital asked : Let’s just talk about the nuclear build particularly—and the last nuclear build the biggest problem people got into and companies got into was the cash flows going to those projects, things kind of got out of whack but a lot of excess expectations, particularly in some of the smaller companies back then given the size and the skill for the projects, as you look at this next cycle, what do you think the nuclear owner has learned today to make sure that the issues that kind of put them under the last time, and in addition to the cash flow expectations needed to support that may have changed compared to our last nuclear build.
I think the overriding difference is that a combination operating license is issued before there’s work done, construction work done on the site. This means that once the plant is complete in accordance with the permit that it can go into operation. In the past you had a construction license where you could begin to build the construction of a nuclear power plant and then a new crew from the NRC came in when it was substantially finished and said, you know I need you to change this, that and the other thing and before you get a operating permit which tended to delay two to three years. Excessive changes during the construction process ended up being longer delivery of the operating unit. And if you recall back then, it’s been such a long time, the construction techniques from CAD systems to Intergraph or interfaces are automatically cleared today with, you didn’t know until you actually erected piping systems or structural components so a lot of things have changed. But I think that far and away the biggest change is that once you have a [inaudible] construction operating license that you’re able to go ahead and build the plant and get it to work and so we’re encouraged by that and I think that that we have a good handle on what we’re required to do.
Q: How much time do you think it will take then to do a conventional nuclear project today given these technologies and the licensing from start to finish?
A: I think that from a first concrete poured in the field I think that 48 months would be a reasonable expectation.
As gas, coal and capacity prices increase and reserved margins decline the value of our nuclear fleet increases. We expect that value to increase even further in a carbon constraint world. While we don’t know just when will all three presidential candidates pledge to carbon legislation and even President Bush now advocating action. We believe that legislation will be inactive in 2009 or 2010 with a likely effective date sometime in 2012 or 2013.
Our third unit at our North Anna nuclear station remains on track. We mentioned to you on our last call that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had received and reviewed our combined operating license application. The application was deemed to complete and a scheduling order issued. We’ve already received approval for early site permit and we stand first in line to receive our combined operating license from the NRC in the latter part of 2011. This approval would place us as the first company in the nation to begin construction of a new nuclear unit in nearly three decades. Additionally, we plan to apply this summer for federal loan guarantees at the Department of Energy.
The approval process to construct a nuclear plant rests with the NRC. Because we are a regulated utility in Virginia, our earned return on the plant during construction and its service life is determined by state law. Under Virginia law, we will be eligible to file for a premium of 200 basis points on the allowed base return on equity for this nuclear unit, which we plan to do later this year.
There appears to be a continuing misunderstanding among some in the financial community about the procedural requirements necessary to construct a nuclear facility in the United States. This misconception probably arises from the flurry of announcements by companies, some regulated, some merchant, some who have early site permits, and some who seek the site permits as part of a combined operating license application. Every company, whether regulated or unregulated, must have an NRC issued COL to begin safety related construction of a new nuclear unit regardless of all other approval requirements, including State Commission approvals. To help understand the process, at least from our perspective, please refer to Dominion’s Investor Relations website under our supplemental schedules for an outline of the application process to begin such construction.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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