A successful first project in a new field of endeavor is opening new prospects for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH).
After many years of conducting service outage maintenance and refueling for nuclear boiling water reactors (BWR), GEH has begun doing refueling and maintenance work on Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) . Its first job, in partnership with Exelon Generation, was at Exelon’s R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, New York, according to a news release Monday from GEH.
The workwas done during a planned service outage and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, according to Jay Wileman, GEH’s president and CEO.
“The scope of work conducted by GEH was completed 26 hours ahead of schedule. This performance, combined with Exelon’s outstanding efforts, led to the shortest outage in the 45-year history of the Ginna plant,” Wileman said in a news release. “The successful execution of our portion of this outage demonstrates our ability to provide PWR operators with the same level of project management expertise and technical rigor that our BWR customers have come to expect.”
The outage team that GEH brought to this project had more than 300 years’ collective experience servicing PWRs in a variety of functions – from project management to vessel disassembly and reassembly, according to the release. Prior to the start of the outage team members were trained at an Exelon facility in accordance with the utility’s standards.
PWRs account for roughly two-thirds of nuclear reactors operating globally and represent a growth area for GEH. “As the original equipment manufacturer of more than 60 boiling water reactors (BWRs) globally, GEH currently services and fuels many BWRs in operation today,” the release stated. “The company intends to introduce advanced services offerings to enhance PWR outage performance.”
“This expansion of services is a significant growth opportunity for us,” GEH spokesman Jonathan Allen said in an email Tuesday. “There are many utilities that operate both types of reactors and for those customers who are looking to take advantage of the efficiencies that come from working with a single vendor, our performance on this recent outage demonstrates our ability to meet that need.”
Last May, when GEH announced its intention of getting into PWR maintenance
and refueling, then-president and CEO Caroline Reda said, “We have viewed the PWR services segment as one in need of additional choices for utilities for some time. We look forward to bringing to PWR operators the same level of project management expertise and technical rigor that we have brought to BWR customers for more than five decades.”
As part of its May announcement, GEH officials stated the company had entered a PWR refueling agreement with Exelon Generation, which operates the “largest fleet of nuclear plants in America,” according to its website.