The nuclear nine
UME looks at some of the nuclear giants who make the megawatts happen
UME looks at some of the nuclear giants who make the megawatts happen
Doosan Babcock is an engineering contractor and project integrator for the nuclear industry. It has been involved in the nuclear sector for more than 50 years and has designed, installed, manufactured and commissioned a wide range of equipment for the power generation market.
The firm is also heavily involved in nuclear decommissioning, and offers full project scoping and management, waste retrieval, conditioning and transport and a range of support services.
Doosan Babcock is currently working on a scheme at the Sellafield site where in alliance with BNG, is delivering the US$95 million WVP Residue Export facility on budget and on schedule. The company employs over 4,000 staff across the world in more than 150 locations.
It also deals in thermal power, petrochemicals and the oil and gas industries. In the past two years the firm claims it has installed over 23,000MWe of supercritical technology.
GE has provided nuclear energy technology for over five decades. The firm’s nuclear arm is set up into four product lines; new reactors, nuclear fuel, reactor services and performance services. The company invented the boiling water reactor (BWR) and this technology now accounts for more than 90 operating plants in the world today.
Its new products include the advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) which is the foundation of GE’s nuclear reactor portfolio. Four units that use this technology are currently in operation in Japan. The ABWR combines the best features of the BWR with enhancements such as digital controls. It is licensed in the US, Japan and Taiwan.
Hitachi Nuclear is also part of the GE Group.
The ABWR was the first third generation reactor to begin commercial operation anywhere in the world and boasts a construction time of approximately 39 months from first concrete to first fuel load. Hitachi nuclear is also part of the GE group.
Alstom supply and integrate all the key components of a nuclear power plant, from the turbine generator set to the entire conventional island. The firm designs and delivers integrated ARABELLE solutions for turbine islands of nuclear power plants.
Jonathon Tripp, communications manager of Alstom Power, commented recently: “Nuclear is probably one of the few ways that they will be able to power the UAE with its rapid expansion and phenomenal growth.”
Alstom claim that 30% of nuclear power plants have Alstom turbine-generator sets. It has delivered 180 units worldwide and the concept of the turbine island for large nuclear power plants is one which Alstom promotes heavily.
The firm also offers power generation solutions in other fields including wind and solar power.
Omicron offers testing and diagnostic solutions to the electrical power industry, including nuclear power plants.
Services are offered by the company in the areas of consulting, commissioning, testing, diagnosis and training. The firm’s services are used in more than 130 countries and it has offices in North America, Europe, South and East Asia and the Middle East.
Among the company’s customers are Siemens, ABB and E.ON. It was founded in Austria in 1984 and started up its Middle East office, based in Bahrain, in 2008.
Omicron offers primary testing and diagnosis and testing with communication protocols among other products.Its services include training courses for electric power system technicians and engineers.
Nuclear power accounted for one third of the electricity that E.ON produced in 2007. With availability factors of over 90%, it claims its nuclear power stations are among the most reliable and productive. In a 2007 generating capacity ranking of the 439 operating nuclear power plants worldwide, E.ON nuclear power plants Brokdorf, Isar 2 and Grohnde occupied places two, three and seven respectively.
Since summer 2008 nuclear energy has also been part of E.ON’s technology initiative innovate.on. The objective is to advance the cutting-edge 1,250 MW boiling water reactor (BWR) in cooperation with French firm Areva.
In 2008 the majority of E.ON’s total demand for uranium was covered by natural uranium from Canada and Russia, which was enriched in Europe and Russia, and by EUP (Enriched Uranium Product) from Kazakhstan. In addition, it has an inventory of natural uranium originating from Canada, Namibia, Niger, Ukraine and USA.
Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and a manufacturer of nuclear power plants and replacement components. It is a fully integrated nuclear power plant and steam generator supplier which provides planning design, manufacturing, construction and plant maintenance.
The firm constructed the first nuclear power plant in Japan using pressurised water reactor (PWR) technology in 1970. PWR technology is now used in two thirds of nuclear power plants .
Mitsubishi is currently working on its next generation plants, the Tsuruga 3 and Tsuruga 4 which use APWR technology. These are scheduled to be operational by 2014 and will have over 1,500MW of output. They will be able to produce 30% more total energy than a conventional 4-loop plant.
The basic design of the firm’s PWR plants is described simply as using pressurised water as the cooler reactant and separating the reactor and turbine systems by steam generators in an indirect cycle system.
Westinghouse Electric Company provides fuel, services, technology, plant design, and equipment for the commercial nuclear electric power industry.
The nuclear service branch of the company offers field services, including complete outage support, advanced products, nuclear power plant component services, and training. It also offers engineering services, helping plants improve reliability and sustain regulatory compliance. Repair, replacement and automations services are also offered.
Westinghouse offers fuel products to its customers and also fuel analysis, services and software products. The main division of the company is the nuclear power plants branch.
Which develops customer-driven technology for modern nuclear power plants and manufactures specialised nuclear components of stainless and high-alloy steels for the nuclear power industry.
Areva works heavily in nuclear power. It was Areva which introduced the European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR).
The EPR is a third generation reactor and offers safe, inexpensive electrical supply with an environmentally friendly method. The nuclear operations of Areva include a front end division, involved in uranium ore explorations, mining, concentration, conversion and enrichment and nuclear fuel design.
There is also a reactor and services division, dealing with the design and construction of nuclear reactors and other non-CO2 emitting power generation systems, supplying products and services for nuclear power plant maintenance and upgrades and operations. The final division of the firm’s nuclear power arm is the back end division, involving treatment and recycling of used fuel, clean-up of nuclear facilities and nuclear logistics.
The firm as a whole has a sales revenue of 13,160 million euros as of December 2008.
It employs 75,414 employees and has a net income of 589 million euros. Siemens retains 34% of the shares of Areva’s subsidiary Areva NP, which was in charge of building the ERP.
JAPAN STEEL WORKS
Japan Steel Works currently makes large steel containment vessels for nuclear power plant reactors. The firm was founded in 1907 with the goal of domestic weapons production in Japan. After World War II the company turned to steel manufacturing and machinery development and turned its hand to heavy industries such as power generation.
Among the nuclear power plant components that the firms offers are reactor and steam generator components, turbo generator rotor shafts, turbine rotor shafts, turbo-generator rotor shafts and turbine castings. It also offers the reactor vessels and heat exchanger tanks.
The company has three production bases, in Muroran, Hiroshima and Yokohama, all in Japan.
The Muroran plant is where the heavy industrial products are produced and the factory boasts a 14,000 tonne hydraulic press and a 100 tonne electro slag re-melting furnace. It was also the company’s first plant.