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Westinghouse picks Shaw/Laing O'Rourke for UK nuclear work

Westinghouse Electric Company has confirmed it will team up with US construction giant Shaw and Laing O’Rourke to build new nuclear plants in the UK.

Westinghouse had shortlisted two groups to build its nuclear reactors in the UK. One was the Shaw/Laing O’Rourke joint venture. The other group was led by Fluor and included Costain, Sir Robert McAlpine and Hochtief.

Westinghouse Nuclear Power Plants senior vice president Ricardo Pérez said the selection of Shaw and Laing O’Rourke was based on a number of factors.

These included the strong relationship Westinghouse and Shaw have built over decades of working together in the US nuclear power industry.

“Teaming together to provide AP1000 nuclear reactors in the UK will enable us to build on our success in China, where Shaw and Westinghouse are working together to bring the first of four AP1000s on line in 2013,” he said. “We are also teamed with Shaw to provide no fewer than 14 AP1000s in the US, including six for which engineer, procure, construct contracts have already been signed.”

A deep history

Westinghouse and Shaw have been working together since the mid 1950s when the two companies were instrumental in building the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant using a pressurised water reactor in Shippingport near Pittsburgh.

Westinghouse UK chief executive Mike Tynan said the inclusion of Laing O’Rourke in the construction consortium is consistent with Westinghouse’s “Buy where we build” policy.

“The addition of such an experienced UK-based company, and access to its existing UK supplier base, will certainly add value as we build AP1000s in the UK in a manner that is truly beneficial to all parties,” he said.

Westinghouse, Shaw and Laing O’Rourke argue that the AP1000 is the safest, most advanced, yet proven nuclear power plant currently available in the worldwide marketplace.

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