GE and Hitachi nuclear alliance companies are taking steps to strengthen their positions in emerging nuclear energy countries, with Hitachi-GE inaugurating a human resource training program for Southeast Asia and GE-Hitachi expanding its supplier network in Poland.
Japan-based Hitachi-GE has announced the establishment of a course at the Electric Power University (EPU) in Vietnam under a joint human resource training program with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Titech).
A lack of human resources trained in nuclear power, energy and the environment, including within the academic sector, is a pressing issue for southeast Asian countries planning to introduce nuclear power. Indeed, when Japan was identified as the preferred partner for the construction of Vietnam's second nuclear power plant in 2010, a primary condition was cooperation in nuclear energy human resources development.
Against this backdrop, Hitachi-GE launched a joint international training program with Titech. As well as initiatives within Titech's Department of Nuclear Engineering (DNE), Hitachi-GE and Titech's efforts to promote human resource activities in Vietnam and other southeast Asian countries include establishing courses at local universities, Hitachi-GE scholarships for southeast Asian students at Titech's DNE, and offering student internships at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The course at EPU will be taught by Hitachi-GE engineers and Titech professors, and will be attended by around 40 EPU undergraduates. Hitachi-GE and Titech plan to implement similar initiatives in cooperation with other Southeast Asian universities.
Vietnamese power development plans recently approved by prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung envisage nuclear power providing 2.1% of the nation's energy by 2020. Russia's AtomStroyExport is due to begin work on Vietnam's first nuclear power plant in Nin Thuan province in 2014 under an agreement signed in October 2010. At around the same time, the Vietnamese government selected Japan as the preferred partner to build its second nuclear power station, also in Nin Thuan province.
GE-Hitachi builds Polish base
Meanwhile, US-based GE-Hitachi has announced the signature of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Warsaw-based Energoprojekt Warszawa (EW) to discuss the feasibility of partnering on future reactor projects. The MoU will see both companies explore how EW could provide specific engineering services to GE-Hitachi for the potential development of new nuclear power plants in Poland.
The latest MoU follows preliminary project agreements between GE-Hitachi and the Polatom research institute, Stocznia Gdansk shipyard, boiler equipment manufacturer Rafako SA, Gdansk University of Technology and SNC-Lavalin Polska.
Polish utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) is expected to issue a call for tenders for the construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant this year, with a view to a commercial contract by the end of 2013. It already has in place a cooperation agreement with GEH covering joint activities related to a feasibility study for the development of two GEH reactor designs, the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) and the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), for use in a Polish nuclear power plant. It also has a similar cooperation agreement with France's EDF providing for joint feasibility studies into the possible construction of Areva's EPR pressurized water reactor design.
Like its Japanese counterpart, GE-Hitachi is also working to develop nuclear human resources in the country where it aspires to build. It has provided modelling software to Polish universities to help in the training of nuclear engineers and is also hosting 14 engineering interns from Poland over the summer at its US headquarters.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News