Local PBMR supplier finds US buyer

10th August 2007 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online

Nuclear technology group Westinghouse Electric Company has agreed to buy IST Nuclear (ISTN), a provider of services and systems for the pebble-bed modular reactor (PBMR), to grow its capabilities in the South African nuclear market, it announced last month.

The sale, contingent on approval from South Africa’s Competition Commission, was likely to be completed this month and would see ISTN operating under the name Westinghouse Electric South Africa.

Vice-president of Westinghouse engineering services Nick Liparulo commented that the acquisition of ISTN would allow Westinghouse to become more involved in the PBMR as it moved toward commercialisation.

“We intend to expand ISTN’s scope to include working with Westinghouse in servicing existing light water reactors in South Africa and elsewhere,” he added.

Rita Bowser, Westinghouse regional vice-president for South Africa, said the ISTN acquisition would allow the company to better serve the local nuclear market.

“We are even better positioned to help South Africa meet the critical demand for clean, safe and reliable energy.”

Westinghouse also said that South Africa was a promising market for the AP1000, its third-generation PWR system.

The company said that it would promote AP1000 systems, to assist in meeting the country’s fast- growing demand for electricity.

Westinghouse technology is the basis for about a half of the world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60% of those in the US and 100% in South Africa.