GE Hitachi Nuclear, Lockheed Martin partner on major nuclear supply chain agreement

Source: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced it has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). The two US-based companies, known for excellence in technology and safety, will join forces to design and build the world’s most advanced digital control systems and nuclear reactors. 

Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin’s nuclear systems and solutions (NS&S) division will design and manufacture the main reactor control room systems for GEH’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactors (ESBWR). GEH is a leading designer of BWR technology and services worldwide and has more than 50 years of continuous new plant construction experience. 

“Lockheed Martin views this partnership as an opportunity to leverage our leadership in advanced technology, systems engineering and safety-critical systems with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s premier Generation III advanced reactor systems,” said Dan Heller, vice president of NS&S at Lockheed Martin. “As a leading global security company, Lockheed Martin has a long history of supporting the energy market and specifically the nuclear segment. This partnership leverages our corporate resources and reactor controls and further diversifies our position in the energy and nuclear power generation segments.” 

GEH gains a new partner with global credibility, industry leading technology expertise and vital component production capacity located in the United States. Lockheed Martin has experience in the nuclear power generating sector after establishing itself as a leading supplier of safety-critical instrumentation and control (I&C) systems to the U.S. Navy as well as previous civilian projects for more than 50 years. Lockheed Martin I&C systems are currently operating on all U.S. submarines and aircraft carriers deployed worldwide. 

“Our agreement with Lockheed Martin marks an exciting moment for the U.S. nuclear industry and two great U.S. companies,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects for GEH. “The ESBWR design will support American jobs and export opportunities around the world.” 

In addition to main controls packages, Lockheed Martin also will provide GEH with related simulation and training support, as well as services and replacement equipment. 

The ESBWR is a front-runner to become one of the first next-generation models to be fully certified for U.S. construction by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is expected to complete its final rule making of the design by Fall 2011. Recently, the design was recommended for approval by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) with no open items. 

GEH’s Generation III+ ESBWR incorporates passive safety and natural circulation features, as well as a fully qualified digital I&C system. The evolutionary technology is based on GE’s ABWR, which was NRC-certified in 1997 and is the only Generation III or higher technology in commercial operation today. 

GEH and Michigan utility DTE Energy are collaborating on an ESBWR project adjacent to its existing Fermi 2 nuclear plant, 35 miles south of Detroit. The NRC is currently reviewing the utility’s license application for its proposed “Fermi Unit 3” project which serves as the Reference Combined Operation License for the design.
The majority of Lockheed Martin’s design and production work will be performed at its design engineering and manufacturing facilities in Archbald, Pa., and Dallas, Texas. Simulation and training support will be provided in Orlando, Fla.

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