GE Hitachi Enters Pressurized Water Reactor Services Market

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), the manufacturer of more than 60 of the world’s 81 existing boiling water reactors (BWRs), is making a foray into the pressurized water reactor (PWR) services field. 

The Wilmington, N.C.–based company announced on May 12 that it has begun offering refueling services to PWR operators.

Under a recent agreement, its first customer will be Exelon Generation, the nation’s largest nuclear generator. Of Exelon’s 22 reactors, 8 are PWRs.

Exelon and GEH in October 2014 signed a $300 million integrated outage service contract covering a full portfolio of outage and inspection services for Exelon’s 14 BWR units. They also extended a fuel services contract that covers six Exelon reactors.

The process of refueling for PWRs and BWRs differs. In a PWR, typically all of the fuel is removed from the core and placed in a spent fuel pool to facilitate maintenance on the reactor core itself. In a BWR, the reactor operators typically remove only used fuel to save time, because BWRs have more fuel assemblies than PWRs.

PWRs account for roughly two-thirds of nuclear reactors operating globally and represent a significant opportunity for GEH, the company said.

“We have viewed the PWR services segment as one in need of additional choices for utilities for some time,” said Caroline Reda, president and CEO of GEH.

“We look forward to bringing to PWR operators the same level of project management expertise and technical rigor that we have brought to BWR customers for more than five decades.”

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)

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