Date: 25 Feb 2011

Managing construction risks of AP1000 nuclear power plants in China

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Large and complex construction projects face risk from various sources and the successful completion of such projects depends on effective risk management. This study investigates the risk faced by Chinese firms participating in constructing AP1000 nuclear power plants in China. AP1000 nuclear reactors are new, Generation III+ reactors designed by Westinghouse and to be built first in China. The semi-structured interview approach is used to elicit information from experts involved in the AP1000 projects in China. Based on the interviews, various sources of risk are identified. In addition to general risks that megaprojects normally face, there are unique risks that arise from various sources such as technological, political, organizational, and individual personnel risks. Risk management strategies are proposed to manage general and unique risks identified in the study. The findings of this study would be helpful for Chinese companies involved in the construction of AP1000 nuclear power plants to mitigate the risks associated with the projects.

Shufeng Wang is a Senior Engineer with China Nuclear Fifth Construction Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China. From 1993 to 1996, he worked in the Pakistan Chashma Nuclear Power Project as a pipe engineer. From 1998 to 2003, Mr. Wang worked in the Second Phase of Qinshang Nucler Power Project as a manager of engineering department. He was a visiting scholar in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Canada, from 2007 to 2008. Currently he works as a general construction manager and containment vessel project manager in the AP1000 Haiyang project. His professional interests are in the areas of project management and project risk management. He has published a number of journal and conference papers. He received the B.Eng degree in Chemical Engineering from Chengdu University of Science and Technology, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, in 1992, and the MBA degree from Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong, China, in 2010. He received the 2002–2007 Excellence Award from China Nuclear Fifth Construction Co., Ltd.
M.I.M. Wahab is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His research involves in the areas of supply chain management, service management, manufacturing system, and intersections between operations research and finance. He has published several journal and conference papers and a book chapter. He received the B.Sc.Eng. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, in 1995, the M.Eng. degree in Industrial Engineering from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, in 1999, and Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada, in 2006. Dr. Wahab is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario, Canada.
Liping Fang is a Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering with Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has actively carried out research and consulting activities in the areas of industrial engineering, systems engineering, engineering management, and decision making, particularly in interactive decision making, multiple criteria decision making, and decision support systems. He has published widely, including two books, an edited book, and numerous journal and conference papers. He received the B.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from Tianjin University, Tianjin, China, in 1982, and the M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo, in 1985 and 1989, respectively. Dr. Fang is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) and Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME). He was the recipient of the 2008 Ryerson-Sarwan Sahota Distinguished Scholar Award from Ryerson University and the 2006 Research Excellence Award from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science, Ryerson University. He is an Associate Editor or Member of the Editorial Board of four international journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics — Part A, Systems and Humans.