Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) is helping Sweden improve power plant reliability with innovative nuclear fuel technology, as a growing number of European nations turn to nuclear energy to address greenhouse gas emissions.
In Europe and around the world, nuclear energy increasingly is viewed as important to addressing concerns about climate change, as part of a diversified energy portfolio. Countries ranging from the United Kingdom to Italy and Sweden already rely on or are revisiting nuclear energy as one of the few baseload energy sources that generate electricity with virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions. Sweden’s 10 nuclear reactors provide more than 40 per cent of the country’s electricity.
Today, GNF announced that GENUSA, a joint venture majority owned by GNF, has earned its first contract to provide energy company OKG’s Oskarshamn nuclear power station in Sweden with innovative nuclear fuel and debris-fighting Defender filter technology.
Under the agreement, valued at more than $50 million, GENUSA will provide advanced fuel technology to OKG over a four-year period, starting in 2012. GENUSA is a Spanish company majority-owned by GNF. GNF is a joint venture of GE (NYSE: GE), Hitachi, Ltd. and Toshiba.
“Plant reliability is one of our most important priorities,” said OKG President Lars Thuring. “We are enthusiastic that GNF’s high-efficiency Defender filter technology will help us enhance our power station’s performance to provide safe, reliable energy to our customers.”
Across Europe, GENUSA provides reliable, safe nuclear fuel to energy companies that operate power plants featuring boiling water reactor (BWR) designs. GE designed or built many of those BWR power plants and, today, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH)—the global alliance GE and Hitachi, Ltd., formed in 2007—offers next-generation ABWR and ESBWR designs to customers across Europe and worldwide.
Owned by energy companies E.ON and Fortum, the Oskarshamn power station contributes to Sweden’s national efforts to address climate change while providing consumers a safe, stable electricity supply. Located on Sweden’s east coast, Oskarshamn is powered by three BWR units generating a combined 2,600 megawatts of electricity at full capacity.
Recently, OKG decided to switch to GNF’s fuel, equipped with industry-leading Defender filter technology for its superior resistance against debris related fuel failure.
GNF has installed more than 6,000 fuel bundles featuring Defender filters in nuclear power plants around the world without a single debris-related failure, eliminating operational downtime that can cost energy companies millions of dollars in lost revenue. Defender filters provide the ultimate in protection to nuclear fuel by capturing foreign matter that may exist in a reactor, preventing damage to its fuel rods and potential fuel failures. While fuel failures pose no safety issues, they may force a power plant into a costly unplanned shutdown, impacting plant performance.
GENUSA will supply fuel and engineering services for two of OKG’s three reactor units, including fuel product design, components, uranium oxide powder conversion and engineering services. The new contract builds on GENUSA’s relationship with OKG in providing consulting services and customized reactor-control components.
“We are very pleased to receive our first fuel order with OKG to help enhance the reliability of the station and protect Sweden’s national energy security,” said Kevin Walsh, CEO of GNF and senior vice president, Nuclear Fuel Cycle, for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, the global nuclear energy alliance providing advanced nuclear reactor technology and plant services.
In January 2010, GNF marked its 10th anniversary as a leading supplier of reliable, high-quality nuclear fuel and services for the commercial nuclear industry. GNF developed fuel for GEH’s ABWR reactor, the world’s first and only Generation III reactor with successful construction and operating experience. For GEH’s Generation III+ ESBWR reactor design, GNF is developing an innovative new fuel, precision-engineered for reliability.
GNF’s fuel cycle leadership is complemented by GEH, which also is developing next-generation technologies to recycle used nuclear fuel for addressing waste-storage and to create new supplies of isotopes used in life-saving medical diagnoses and treatments. In addition, Global Laser Enrichment—a venture of GE, Hitachi and Cameco—is testing laser technology for enriching uranium to help fuel commercial nuclear power plants.
About Global Nuclear Fuel
Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) is a world-leading supplier of boiling water reactor fuel, including uranium dioxide and MOX fuel and fuel-related engineering services. GNF operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC in Wilmington, N.C., and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan.
Tom Murnane, Masto Public Relations
P: +1 518 786 6488
Masto Public Relations