Nuclear, Reactors

GE Energy to provide long-lead items to Dominon

1-May-2007 — GE Energy’s nuclear business has been awarded a significant contract by Dominion, one of the nation’s largest energy producers, to secure critical, “long-lead” components for a possible next-generation nuclear power unit.
The terms of the contract are confidential.
Dominion is considering constructing a third nuclear-powered electric generating unit at its North Anna Power Station in Mineral, Va. The order includes large forgings as well as fabrication of several schedule-critical nuclear and turbine components required for GE’s ESBWR design.
With a growing number of utilities preparing construction and operating license (COL) applications to build new nuclear units, Dominion’s order with GE helps assure the company that it will have crucial project components in place should it decide to build the new unit.
“This order represents a significant step forward as the U.S. nuclear industry prepares to build the first new domestic nuclear power unit since the 1970s,” said Andy White, president and CEO of GE Energy’s nuclear business. “This contract demonstrates that GE is ready to start work and fabricate large, long-lead components to assure utility customers they will be able to meet their crucial construction schedules. We look forward to further developing our relationship with Dominion in the coming months.”
“This is a sound business decision for us,” said Mark F. McGettrick, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Generation, the unit of Dominion that operates its power stations. “With this contract we have reserved large, critical components at a time when others are also considering building new units. We believe the market for these components will be tight in the near future, so getting to the head of the line makes good sense.”
Dominion, headquartered in Richmond, Va., and several other utilities are expected to submit construction and operating license (COL) applications to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) before the end of 2007. No U.S. utility has formally committed yet to building a new nuclear plant.
Dominion applied to the NRC in September 2003 for an early site permit, which if approved would allow the company to reserve the North Anna site for 20 years for possible construction of a new nuclear unit. The NRC is expected to make a decision on that application later this year.
Dominion is one of two energy company consortia working through NRC’s new reactor licensing process, with co-funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Power 2010 Program.
Much of the site-specific engineering design work for GE’s advanced reactor projects will be performed at the company’s new advanced technology center, which opened in March at GE’s nuclear business’ headquarters site in Wilmington, N.C.
As previously announced, GE Energy’s nuclear business, which is in the process of forming a global alliance with Hitachi’s nuclear business, will perform the work for Dominion. GE’s nuclear business develops advanced light water reactors and provides a wide array of technology-based products and services to help owners of both boiling and pressurized water reactors safely operate their facilities with greater efficiency and output.