Areva expands US services

25 July 2012

Areva is boosting its US capabilities by building a new technical centre and by forming an alliance with Northrop Grumman to provide cybersecurity support for nuclear facilities.

Concrete pouring at US Technical Centre (Areva)
Workers prepare to pour the concrete foundation for the shake table (Image: Areva)

Areva's US subsidiary announced that it has poured the concrete for the foundation of a new seismic testing facility at the new US Technical Centre, located at the Areva Solutions Centre in Lynchburg, Virginia. Some 33 truckloads of concrete were delivered to the site over a five-hour period on 24 July. This was poured into a rebar-grid excavation measuring 9 metres by 9 metres and 4 metres deep to form the foundation for a seismic response testing system or 'shake table.' The concrete will require about 90 days to cure.

The shake table itself weighs some 5 tonnes and will be "one of the largest of its kind in North America," according to Areva. Installation of the shake table is planned in early August. It will be able to conduct vibration tests with gravitational forces up to 7g's and frequencies up to 100 hertz. Areva said that the shake table, along with environmental chambers, machine shops and various metallurgical and chemistry laboratories, will allow it "to develop, analyze and validate nuclear plant equipment and its performance under harsh conditions such as earthquakes and high temperatures."

The expansion required for the development of the US Technical Centre - which will offer full-service nuclear safety testing capabilities - began in mid-February. It is due to be officially opened in September.

Areva Inc president and CEO Mike Rencheck said, "Through this innovative and comprehensive development and testing facility Areva expands our support to utility clients and equipment manufacturers for products and services required to develop, maintain and extend the life of nuclear plant components and systems."


In response to calls from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for commercial nuclear facilities to develop and implement cybersecurity plans, Areva and global security company Northrop Grumman have announced that they will jointly provide cybersecurity protection support for US nuclear facilities.

Tom Franch, Areva Inc senior vice president of reactors and services, said, "Protecting the US nuclear power infrastructure from exploitation and attacks of networks, systems, information and physical assets is an industry concern."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News