Russia's nuclear forging supplier ups capacity

30 October 2007

Production of heavy forgings for three or more nuclear power reactors per year should be possible after 2011 at at OMZ's Komplekt-Atom-Izhora facility.

A conceptual plan for the development of Izhora has been approved by the OMZ board of directors to begin next year. A company statement said the development priority would be a "radical modernization of existing equipment" as well as the introduction of advanced new facilities to increase efficiency. It will double the production of 'large and super-large forgings'. Details of the plan should be worked out by June 2008.

At present Izhora can produce the heavy high-quality forgings required for Russia's VVER-440 and VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors at the rate of two per year. These forgings include the heavy piping, steam generators, and the reactor pressure vessel that form the primary coolant circuit. The components weigh a whopping 12,000 tonnes in total.

Among nuclear industry observers there is speculation that the worldwide production base for these specialised components could prove to be a bottleneck in nuclear power expansion. However, OMZ is now the third major supplier to announce increases to capacity after Japan Steel Works and Areva.

Bretislav Nitka of the Czech Republic's Vitkovice Group told the Nuclear Renaissance Summit last week in Stockholm, Sweden that its heavy machinery division could upgrade facilities to produce nuclear forgings in two years, provided an order had been received.

OMZ is expected to produce the forgings for the new wave of new nuclear build in Russia which should see AES-2006 model VVER-1200 nuclear reactors built at the rate of
one per year from 2009, two from 2012, three from 2015 and four from 2016. In addition, Russia wants to export similar reactors overseas. Two further units are likely at Tianwan in China as well as two more at Kudankulam in India. Two are also planned for Belene in Bulgaria.

Further information

OMZ
Vitkovice

WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper

WNN: More forgings for USEPR
WNN: Japan Steel Works prepares for orders

WNN: Areva purchases major equipment supplier

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