Thermo Awarded Contract with Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Ltd of South Africa


Thermo Electron today announced it has been awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Ltd (PBMR).

San Diego, CA - September 7, 2006 - Thermo Electron, an industry leading producer of analytical and process instrumentation, today announced it has been awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Ltd (PBMR) for the design, manufacture, delivery, installation support, and commissioning of the Nuclear Instrumentation System. Thermo Electron will supply multiple ex-core Neutron Flux and Gamma Flux Monitoring Systems for the PBMR Demonstration Power Plant (DPP), which will be built at Koeberg in the Western Cape of South Africa.

"At Thermo Electron we're committed to bringing innovative technology and solutions to the nuclear power plant market," said Clark Artaud, director, Nuclear Products of Thermo, San Diego. "This contract with PBMR allows us to participate in an exciting inherently safe type Generation IV nuclear power plant project at the early stages, and we look forward to working with PBMR to showcase our revolutionary neutron flux monitoring systems in South Africa and worldwide."

The Thermo Electron neutron flux monitoring system uses fission chamber-based detectors exclusively as the neutron sensitive element in the system. A single detector system spans more than 11 decades of reactor power. By contrast, conventional neutron flux monitoring systems require several detector systems to cover the same range.

Thermo Electron's neutron flux monitoring system provides reliable neutron flux measurement from about 10‑10 percent to 200 percent reactor power logarithmically. The total range is designed to span from reactor cold shutdown source level to great­er than 100 percent reactor power, or from about 10-2 nv to 1010 nv, in a harsh environ­ment. The solution is designed to measure neutron flux with the detector in a high gamma radiation and electrical noise environment.

The systems are qualified to operate for 40 years under normal conditions and to survive a design basis event (DBE), providing reliable measurement before, during, and after the DBE. Thermo Electron's neutron flux monitoring systems are environmentally and seismically qualified for Class 1E Safety-Related Source, Intermediate, and Power Range applications and meet U.S. NRC RG 1.97 Post Accident Monitoring and 10CFR50 Appendix R Remote Shutdown Monitoring requirements.

Key features and benefits of Thermo Electron's neutron flux monitoring systems include:

Eliminates failure-prone short-lived BF3 and CIC detectors
Reduces personnel exposure associated with frequent detector replacements
Replaces multiple channels with one, reducing maintenance and inventory
Enables a 40-year life under normal full power operating conditions
Qualifies for safety class 1E and US NRC RG 1.97 Post Accident Monitoring applications
Demonstrates high immunity to electromagnetic interference and noise
Provides modern, proven electronics for high reliability and low maintenance
Ensures spare parts availability into the future through a modular design

For more information regarding Thermo Electron's neutron flux monitoring system, please visit: http://www.thermo.com/nuclear.

About The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor

South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Ltd company, (PBMR), was established in 1999 with the intention to develop and market small-scale output, high-temperature reactors both locally and internationally. The 700-member PBMR project team is based in Centurion near Pretoria, South Africa.

The pebble bed modular reactor is a High Temperature Reactor (HTR), with a closed-cycle, gas turbine power conversion system. Although it is not the only HTR currently being developed in the world, the South African project is internationally regarded as the leader in the power generation field. Very high efficiency and attractive economics are possible without compromising the high levels of passive safety expected of advanced nuclear designs.

Developing out of a desire for energy sustainability, the PBMR technology defines 21st century energy thinking. Its ability to economically generate electricity and create high value co-products such as hydrogen for the fuel of the future, desalinated water and industrial or residential process heat, not only sets it apart from all previous nuclear reactors, but also from the next generation of energy sources.

The PBMR is therefore poised to be the world's first commercial scale advanced reactor built in the new millennium. For more information, visit www.pbmr.com.

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