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Posts Tagged ‘Commonwealth Edison’


Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

While it sometimes seems as if American companies are being completely cut out of the highly competitive international market for nuclear development, in fact there have been some successes.
Yesterday the Shaw Group, of Louisiana, Exelon, the spin-off of Commonwealth Edison that owns America’s largest nuclear fleet, and Toshiba, which owns 80 percent of Westinghouse, announced an agreement to pursue opportunities to provide a full complement of services in designing and constructing nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.
Shaw, founded only in 1987, has 26,000 employees and is one of the world’s leaders in engineering, procurement and construction of all varieties of power plants. It holds the other 20 percent share of Westinghouse and already participates in many international ventures.
But for Exelon it represents one of the Chicago company’s first efforts to operate in the international market. Although Exelon has a proposal to build two new reactors at Victoria Station in Texas, its prospects for expansion are of course limited by the slow pace of license approval at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Saudi Arabian venture opens up new avenues for experience and success.
Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, complains that American private companies are basically competing against government-run enterprises in the international market. True enough. Areva is 80 percent owned by the French government and Russia and South Korea are basically government enterprises. Only the Japanese rely on private companies and they are encouraged to cooperate under Japanese law. Toshiba, Hitachi, Tokyo Electric and three other Japanese companies just announced a joint venture to sell reactors in Vietnam and other countries.
But what American companies may lack in size and government backing, they may be able to make up in speed and performance. The Shaw-Exelon-Toshiba venture shows that American companies are still in the race.