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New Nuclear Fuel Contract To Impact GE Joint Venture In Wilmington

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Nov 12, 2018
An 18-year nuclear fuel contract involving a Finnish nuclear power company will impact Global Nuclear Fuel's base in Wilmington, said officials with the company.

Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced Monday that GNF ENUSA Nuclear Fuel S.A. (GENUSA), a joint venture between ENUSA Industrias Avanzadas SA and GNF, has been selected to provide fuel reloads for the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Finland, according to a news release.

The terms of the new supply contract awarded by TVO to the joint venture company were not disclosed, according to Jon Allen, spokesman for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, which shares a campus in Castle Hayne with GNF operations.

The contract was awarded after a competitive bid, and will run from 2020 through 2038. This contract will include reloads of GNF2, a "high-performance fuel assembly designed to deliver increased energy output while decreasing overall fuel cycle costs," officials said in the release.

GNF is a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi Ltd. and operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas LLC in Wilmington and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan, according to the release. GENUSA is a Spanish company based in Madrid, jointly owned by GNF and ENUSA to market and sell nuclear fuel and related services to the European boiling water reactor plants.
 
The fuel for Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant will be fabricated by ENUSA in Spain at its Juzbado Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing Plant and will utilize GNF-supplied components.

A significant portion of the Finnish contract work will take place in Wilmington, Allen said.

"GNF will provide all the fuel components in order for bundles to be assembled at ENUSA’s factory in Spain. This includes UO2 powder reconversion, zirconium components, (tubes, channels, water rods) which are manufactured in Wilmington, and other miscellaneous parts," Allen said in an email.

This is the second major contract this year that has involved GENUSA and GNF's nuclear base in Wilmington this year. In May, GENUSA selected by Vattenfall to provide fuel reloads for the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden, which runs from 2020 through 2023, for reloads of GNF2.

With the most recent contract, TVO and GENUSA officials "expect to evaluate the suitability of future fuel designs to meet TVO’s operational goals," according to the release.

"Since its incorporation in 1996, ENUSA has manufactured fuel sold by GENUSA to operators of boiling water reactors across Europe.TVO was the first customer of GENUSA after its inception," officials said in the release.

Marjo Mustonen, production manager and senior vice president of TVO, said that the longterm contract will help the company achieve the goal of its plant requirements and secures its fuel supply for nearly two decades.

Allen said that GNF last fueled the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, and "looks forward to resuming." GENUSA is majority-owned by GNF.

“We fueled the Olkiluoto reactors for several years and as we continue to evolve our products to further strengthen reliability and performance, we are pleased to provide fuel to TVO for many years to come,” said Amir Vexler, CEO of GNF and president of the GENUSA Board of Directors, in the release.
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