GE Hitachi enters pressurized water reactor services field

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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced plans this week to begin offering refueling services to customers operating Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs).

PWRs account for roughly two-thirds of nuclear reactors operating globally and represent a significant opportunity for GEH, the company that connected the first nuclear reactor to a commercial electricity grid in Vallecitos, California, in 1957, according to GEH Spokesman Jon Allen.

“We have viewed the PWR services segment as one in need of additional choices for utilities for some time,” said GEH President and CEO Caroline Reda. “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.”

The announcement includes an agreement with Exelon Generation, the nation’s largest operator of nuclear plants, to conduct PWR refueling work. The outage team that GEH will bring to this project has a collective 300-plus years’ of experience servicing PWRs in a variety of functions including project management, planning, supervision, fuel movement and vessel disassembly and reassembly, Allen said. Team members were recently trained at an Exelon facility in accordance with the company’s standards.

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 company intends to introduce advanced services offerings to enhance PWR outage performance.