Gdansk, Poland, January 26, 2011 — GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy signed memoranda of understanding with Poland’s Stocznia Gdansk, a major shipyard, and RAFAKO S.A., Europe’s leading boiler equipment manufacturer, to pursue opportunities to build nuclear components for GEH.
State-owned utility PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. is leading Poland’s efforts to develop the country’s first two nuclear generating stations and is currently evaluating several reactor technologies for these plants, including two GEH reactor designs: the 1,350-MW ABWR and the 1,520-MWe ESBWR. The ESBWR is GEH’s newest reactor design that offers the world’s most advanced passive safety systems.
These MOUs are the latest of several for GEH in Poland as a growing number of countries prepare to build new nuclear power plants to generate low-carbon electricity and strengthen their energy security. GEH previously signed an agreement with global engineering services firm SNC-Lavalin Polska to collaborate on potential projects in Poland.
Executives from RAFAKO S.A., Stocznia Gdansk, Gdansk University of Technology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin University and Koszalin University of Technology, as well as regional authorities and representatives of the Polish Parliament, were present for GEH’s MOU announcements today at Stocznia Gdansk.
GEH further committed to a strong Polish workforce with today’s agreements with the universities to train Polish students on nuclear technology and offer internships for Polish students this summer in the U.S. GE currently has more than 10,000 employees in Poland.
Along with these agreements, GEH also donated two GE GateCycleTM software licenses to Gdansk University of Technology to help train a new generation of highly skilled nuclear engineers to operate the new facilities. In 2010, GEH donated five licenses to the Warsaw University of Technology.
GE’s customized GateCycle heat balance software is used to model nuclear steam cycles and is a valuable tool in teaching engineering students advanced methods of plant modeling and troubleshooting to optimize plant performance.
Today, about 94 percent of Poland’s electricity comes from domestic coal-fired power plants. Poland plans to build its new reactors to help reduce the country’s dependence on coal-based technologies and overall national emissions levels as Poland and other European Union members seek to reduce their emissions by at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Nuclear energy is an attractive option because it generates electricity with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions.