GEH to submit ESBWR bid for Olkiluoto-4 new nuclear reactor project

Source: GE

Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to participate in the bidding process to build the utility’s proposed fourth reactor unit at the Olkiluoto nuclear power station (OL4) on Finland’s west coast. GEH will enter its Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), the world’s safest available reactor design based on industry standards, into the bidding process. The invitation comes after TVO and GEH recently signed a licensing feasibility study contract in February.

“We are honored and excited to receive TVO’s formal invitation to submit a bid to build their new reactor,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. “This is a testament to our ESBWR technology, which is a safe, simple, and predictable solution for OL4. We are already working with our project partners and mobilizing the supply chain to prepare an extremely competitive, attractive and comprehensive proposal to support TVO’s technology, schedule, and budget requirements.”

The ESBWR features passive safety, simplicity of design, and proven advanced modular construction methods. In particular, the ESBWR will benefit from the extensive construction experience gained from GEH’s ABWR new-build projects in Japan and Taiwan. The bid also will illustrate GEH’s balanced, experienced supply chain with significant local content that will enable on-time and on-budget construction. ESBWR’s passive safety features allow the reactor to safely cool itself with no AC electrical power or human action for more than seven days, and after that, only simple actions are necessary to maintain cooling.

GEH is partnering with world-renowned Fluor Corporation to jointly prepare the bid while expanding its local business presence in Finland. This will enhance GEH’s proven global project supply chain and provide TVO with the most competitive bid for an ESBWR project. GEH’s recent preparations on behalf of the TVO bid include:

•In January 2012, GEH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Space Systems Finland Ltd. (SSF), which specializes in the validation and verification of safety critical software for various industrial sectors, including the aerospace and utility industries. 

•In November 2011, GEH signed an MOU with Fluor, a leading international engineering and construction company, to jointly bid on the OL4 project. 

•In October 2011, GEH and Fluor attended FinNuclear’s “Meet the Vendor” event in Tampere, Finland. The forum, hosted by the Finnish Nuclear Industry Association, brought together reactor vendors and potential Finnish suppliers to help engage the country’s knowledgeable and experienced local nuclear workforce.

In May 2012, GEH and Fluor will host their own supplier symposium, with the assistance of FinNuclear, to identify local Finnish suppliers to participate in the OL4 bid and create jobs in Finland.

Earlier this year, GE Energy CEO John Krenicki unveiled an ESBWR model at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, highlighting the role that GEH’s nuclear reactor technology can play in helping Finland expand the production of lower-carbon, alternative energy supplies. This summer, GEH plans on hosting interns from Finland at its global headquarters in the U.S. to expose them to many facets of GEH’s business and the nuclear industry.

Finland has four nuclear reactors that supply nearly 30 percent of the country’s electricity, according to the World Nuclear Association. In July 2010, Finland’s parliament ratified "Decisions in Principle" for the construction of two additional reactors, including TVO’s “Olkiluoto-4” project.

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