GE Hitachi wins contracts to boost nuclear plant reliability

The Cofrentes station, located in the province of Valencia and owned by Iberdrola, generates power using a GE boiling water reactor that began operating in 1985

Nov 2nd, 2011

Wilmington, N.C., November 2, 2011 — Spain's Iberdrola and Nuclenor have awarded GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy with multi-year services contracts to help ensure the long-term reliability, availability and safe operation of the Cofrentes and Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plants.

The Cofrentes station, located in the province of Valencia and owned by Iberdrola, generates power using a GE boiling water reactor that began operating in 1985. The Cofrentes station is one of the largest of Spain's eight nuclear power plants and generates nearly 5 percent of Spain's electricity.

The S.M. Garoña station, located in the province of Burgos and owned by Nuclenor, uses a GE BWR that has been in operation since 1971. It has achieved numerous awards due to its excellent efficiency and capacity factors. Nuclenor is split-owned by Iberdrola and Endesa.

Under terms of the six-year, multi-cycle services agreement — which contains options to extend the agreement to 10 years — GEH will provide a broad scope of outage and refueling services to ensure the optimal performance of the stations, including: Drywell and vessel head disassembly/assembly, reactor pressure vessel maintenance, and visual and ultrasonic inspections.

In addition, GEH and the utilities intend to establish the needed infrastructure to promote more effective collaboration between the two companies, including a new steering committee, a leadership group, an asset management plan and an engineering consulting program. For example, the GEH-Iberdrola steering committee and the Cofrentes staff will develop an RPV asset plan and risk management strategy.

GENUSA, the European BWR fuel joint venture between Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) and Spanish nuclear fuel company ENUSA, will provide nuclear fuel reloads under a separate agreement. GNF is the GE majority-owned fuel fabrication and fuel engineering services venture jointly established by GE, Hitachi and Toshiba.

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