GE Hitachi to equip Swiss nuclear power plant

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is working to fulfill an order from Kernkraftwerk Leibstadt AG for more than 40 GEH Ultra Control Rod Blades. The blades will be installed in the Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plant in Leibstadt, Switzerland during the summer of 2015.

GE Hitachi responded to a bid request issued by KKL in March. In a competition conducted in accordance with GATT and WTO agreements, GE Hitachi was awarded the contract in August. That same month, four previously ordered Ultra Control Rod Blade assemblies were installed in Leibstadt during a refueling outage. These “lead use” assemblies allow the performance of the control rods to be verified under operating circumstances.

Control rod blades are long, cruciform metal-tube components that contain neutron-absorbing material and are positioned adjacent to nuclear fuel assemblies within the reactor core. Operators remotely adjust the position of these blades to manage core reactivity levels.

GE Hitachi designs and builds its control rod blade product line using advanced materials and manufacturing processes at its headquarters site in Wilmington, N.C. The Ultra is the next iteration of GE Hitachi’s tube-within-a-tube control rod blade design and offers enhanced performance, reliability and flexibility.

The Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plant safely generates 1,220 MW of low-carbon electricity — about one-sixth of Switzerland’s electricity needs and enough to power more one million homes.  

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