Alstom to supply turbines for Unistar plants

14 November 2007

Unistar Nuclear Energy (UNE) has selected French engineering group Alstom as the supplier of turbine generators for its planned fleet of new nuclear power reactors in the USA.


The companies have signed a letter of intent, under which Alstom will supply a minimum of four 'Arabelle' half-speed turbine generators for UNE's planned US fleet of reactors.


UNE is a 'strategic joint venture' formed in July by Constellation Energy and Electricité de France (EdF) to operate new nuclear power plants in both the USA and Canada. The venture aims to 'develop, own and operate' a possible standardized fleet of reactors envisaged by the Unistar scheme, itself a joint venture between Constellation and France's national nuclear technology company Areva.


Overall, Unistar would see a standardised US-specific version of Areva's US Evolutionary Power Reactor (USEPR) licensed for build in that country. According to current plans the first could be built at Calvert Cliffs, and one more each at Nine Mile Point, New York and Amarillo, Texas. Unistar aims to complete its first nuclear power plant by December 2015.


Gearge Vanderheyden, president and CEO of UNE said, "This agreement with Alstom gives us certainty in the global supply chain that Unistar Nuclear Energy will have vital turbine components for our first four USEPRs."

Vanderheyden noted that a final decision to build the first USEPR has yet to be made but said that the agreement with Alstom positions UNE to begin ordering steam turbine generators next year.


Earlier this year, Alstom and Russia's Atomenergomash finalized details of their joint venture for the manufacture of the conventional islands of Russian nuclear power plants. The joint venture - which will be 51% owned by Atomenergomash and 49% by Alstom - will manufacture the entire conventional island of nuclear power plants (essentially most of the nuclear power plant except the reactor), also using Alstom's 'Arabelle' turbine technology. The partnership - to be known as Alstom Atomenergomash LLC - will be based at Podolsk, near Moscow. The joint venture will focus on the Russian nuclear power plant market, but will also compete in the international market.


In addition, in August Alstom announced that it had been awarded a contract to supply the steam turbines to the four units at Hongyanhe Phase I, under a €135 million ($184 million) contract. The Hongyanhe units are to be CPR-1000s, a Chinese standard design evolved from the Areva-supplied pressurized water reactors at Lingao and Daya Bay. Alstom has been an industrial partner with the main contractors on Hongyanhe - the Dong Fang group and China Nuclear Power Engineering Company - since cooperating on the construction of Daya Bay, in the late 1980s.


Alstom's 'Arabelle' turbines are also to be used at the EPR under construction at Flamanville in northern France. The steam turbine to be used in the 1750 MWe conventional turbine island for the Flamanville EPR will be the biggest ever built in the world. The Flamanville unit is intended to be the pilot plant of the design, which is expected to replace France's current fleet in coming decades.


Further information


Unistar Nuclear Energy (UNE)


WNA's US Nuclear Power Industry information paper

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