Westinghouse Electric Company has completed the preparatory work on fuel for its AP1000 nuclear power plants and manufactured the first four fuel assemblies at its Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility (CFFF) in South Carolina.

This fuel will be used at Sanmen Unit 1, located in the Zhejiang Province of China.

The company said that the AP1000 fuel incorporates features to better protect the fuel from coolant debris, improve seismic performance and deliver highly efficient operational performance.

Sanmen is the site of two Westinghouse AP1000 PWR units that are being built under a contract signed in 2007 for four AP1000 PWRs and two other AP1000 PWRs are currently under construction at Haiyang, China.

The first of the four units, Sanmen Unit 1, is on schedule to come online in 2013, with each unit thereafter subsequently coming online approximately six months later.

Additionally, Westinghouse and China are currently in discussion on plans for more AP1000 units to be sited inland of China’s coastal areas.

The Sanmen and Haiyang sites have been designated for six AP1000 units each and three further multi-unit sites at Xianning, Taohuajiang and Pengze have been prepared in China.