More steam tubes in the pipeline

05 October 2010

Vallourec's Chinese subsidiary is expanding its manufacturing capacity for steam generator tubing as a major conference prepares to focus on the Chinese nuclear supply chain. 


Steam generator tubes (Valinox Nucléaire)
Tubes as fitted within a steam
generator (Image: Valinox Nucléaire)
France-based Vallourec has said that Nansha in Guangdong province would soon see the construction of a $55 million Valinox plant to produce the thin alloy tubes required in great numbers for the steam generators of pressurized water reactors.


Combined with the tripling of production capacity at Vallourec's Montbard plant in France, the company's overall capacity will reach 7000 kilometres of tubing per year when Nansha opens in late 2012. This will support the expansion of Chinese nuclear generating capacity from today's 10.2 GWe to above 80 GWe in as little as ten years.


Director of Strategy and Research for the World Nuclear Association Steve Kidd said the move is clearly intended to support an increased share of domestically engineered components in Chinese nuclear power plants. "There are now regular announcements of overseas companies setting up operations in China, in some cases with technology transfer agreements with local firms. This is intended to push the domestic component share of Chinese reactors up above 80%, while as a knock-on effect, extra additional investment in the nuclear supply chain will ease any anticipated pinch points in the global market."
Kidd explained that the global nuclear supply chain was one important topic that will figure large in the forthcoming China International Nuclear Symposium to be held in Beijing this November. This high-level event, building on the 35 years of the Annual Symposium in London and jointly organised by the World Nuclear Association (WNA) and the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA), aims to bring together leaders of Chinese and international nuclear companies to share their knowledge and experience, with a view to creating future business opportunities. Another objective is to improve on the many poor-quality privately-organised nuclear events in China and focus squarely on the huge prospects of China both as a producer of nuclear energy and, over the longer term, as a major global vendor of nuclear technology.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News