GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is planning to provide refuelling services to pressurized water reactors (PWRs), and has agreed to conduct PWR refuelling work for Exelon.
A global vendor of boiling water reactors (BWRs), GEH predecessor General Electric designed and built more than 60 of the 81 BWRs currently in operation around the world, and services and fuels many of them. However, on a global scale, PWRs outnumber BWRs by more than three to one, so the potential market from PWRs is a large one. The new offering is intended to appeal to customers who operate both PWRs and BWRs and may wish to use a single vendor.
"We have viewed the PWR services segment as one in need of additional choices for utilities for some time", GEH president and CEO Caroline Reda said, adding that the company was looking forward to "bringing to PWR operators the same level of project management expertise and technical rigour that we have brought to BWR customers for more than five decades."
The announcement includes an agreement with Exelon Generation, the USA's largest operator of nuclear plants, to conduct PWR refuelling work. GEH says it has already assembled an outage team with extensive PWR experience, members of which have already been trained at an Exelon facility in accordance with the company's standards.
Exelon's nuclear fleet includes both PWRs and BWRs. In October 2014, Exelon awarded GEH a $300 million integrated outage contract for all of its 14 BWRs. That contract included assisting with refuelling activities and performing under-vessel and inspection services, and will run until early 2018.