Power-Gen International 2007
NEW ORLEANS, LA.-December 11, 2007-Illinois-based Exelon Nuclear, the nation's largest nuclear operator, has signed a major, multi-million dollar order with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) for large forgings and component fabrication for two next-generation ESBWR nuclear reactors, should the company decide to build a new nuclear power plant in Texas.
The long-lead items agreement requires GEH to supply the major components needed for developing nuclear power plants, including the manufacturing of ultra-large forgings, reactor pressure vessels and steam turbine generators.
Initiating the procurement and fabrication of such schedule-critical components is necessary to assure their availability if Exelon decides to proceed with building a new plant.
"Signing this agreement with GEH helps us preserve the option to build a new nuclear plant should we decide to do so in the future," said Thomas S. O'Neill, Exelon Nuclear's vice president of new plant development. "We're pleased to be working with GEH as we continue our assessment of potential sites."
Exelon is in the process of selecting a location in southeast Texas as a viable site as part of its application for a combined construction and operating license for the potential ESBWRs.
"We are very excited to be working with Exelon and appreciate the confidence the operator of the largest U.S. nuclear fleet has placed in GEH," said Andy White, president and CEO of GEH.
This single Exelon agreement marks GEH's third and fourth ESBWR long lead items order with a U.S. utility. Entergy Nuclear and Dominion also have selected the ESBWR for potential single-unit nuclear projects and signed ESBWR component orders with GEH.
The ecomagination SM certified, 1,520-megawatt (MW) ESBWR-one of two Generation III+ reactor designs being considered by U.S. utilities for potential construction-is the latest evolution of the standard boiling water reactor. The ESBWR incorporates advanced natural circulation and passive safety systems, which rely on natural forces such as gravity, evaporation and condensation for plant operations instead of the large numbers of active pumps and valves used by existing reactors.
In all, the ESBWR design eliminates 11 systems from previous designs and has 25 percent fewer valves, pumps and motors. By incorporating simplified design features and fewer components, the design allows for faster construction and lower operating costs, as well as enhanced safety.
Exelon Corporation is one of the nation's largest electric utilities with more than $15 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry's largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. In Texas, the company owns or controls about 3,700 megawatts of natural gas fired generation within Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and Pennsylvania and gas to approximately 480,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
About GEH Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, GEH is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services.Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry outside Japan.
The new nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.
Due to the significant role nuclear energy generation can play in limiting greenhouse gas emissions while helping to meet the world's growing energy demands, the ESBWR recently received ecomagination SM certification from GE.
Launched in 2005, ecomagination is GE's corporate commitment to introduce new technologies that can help customers meet their pressing energy needs and their increasingly important environmental requirements. Demand for such solutions, including nuclear energy, is quickly growing as countries around the world consider various emissions reduction targets and restrictions.
For more information, contact:
GEH Nuclear Energy
+1 910 547 1137
or Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations