Brazilian order follows MHI milestone

08 November 2007

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has received Japan's first order for a large-scale nuclear power plant component from Brazil. The order for a replacement reactor vessel closure head for Angra 1 comes two weeks after MHI celebrated shipping its 100th steam generator.

The replacement reactor vessel closure head ordered by Brazil's government-owned nuclear company Eletronuclear will be manufactured at MHI's Kobe Shipyard and Machinery Works. It is destined for Angra 1, a 657 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) built in the 1970s by Westinghouse and operating since 1985.

The new component should make operations at the plant more reliable and economical - important in Brazil, where stability of electricity supply has become an high-profile issue as a result of an expanding economy. In the last year, Angra 1 had an annual load factor of 52.9%, while the majority of nuclear reactors around the world performed at capacity factors of over 75% and many exceed 90%.

The Brazilian order follows on the delivery of MHI's 100th steam generator to Hokkaido Electric Power Company's Tomari 3, currently under construction and scheduled to enter commercial operation at the end of 2009. Steam generators are vital components in PWRs, converting the thermal energy generated in the nuclear reactor to the steam that drives turbines and generators. Typically about 21 metres in height and up to 5 metres in diameter, and weighing in at around 330 tonnes, they demand especially high design and manufacturing capability, accurate to one hundredth of a millimeter.

Since 1970, MHI has supplied steam generators to all of Japan's PWRs as well as to numerous PWRs in other countries, including replacement steam generators which the company notes help to extend plant operating life as well as boosting safety and efficiency. It is Japan's only steam generator manufacturer.

MHI says it intends to use its technological expertise and track record to "aggressively develop" its business as a comprehensive supplier of all nuclear power plant-related needs in both the domestic and overseas markets. Noting the "increasingly positive" view of nuclear power shared by Brazil and other South American countries, the company says it plans to expand its nuclear power plant equipment business in the region.

Further information

Hokkaido Electric Power Company
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

WNA's Nuclear Power in Brazilinformation paper

WNA's Nuclear Power in Japaninformation paper

WNN: Chinesecontract for Mistubishi Heavy Industries