GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced it has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin. The two U.S.-based companies will join forces to design and build what they say will be 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). 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.

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.

The ESBWR is expected 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 this fall. Recently, the design was recommended for approval by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards with no open items.

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.

Source: GE