Naval nuclear contracts awarded

15 February 2013

Separate contracts for naval nuclear power systems have been signed by engineering companies Rolls-Royce and Babcock & Wilcox. Both firms also have a significant presence in the civil nuclear industry.

Astute class sub (MOD)
Computer-generated image of an Astute class submarine, which features a Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactor. (Image: MOD)

Rolls-Royce has signed a ten-year contract worth £800 million ($1.2 billion) with the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the delivery and maintenance of the nuclear propulsion systems for the Royal Navy's Astute class submarine and for the next-generation Successor class.

The MOD said that consolidating costs into one contract will result in savings of some £200 million ($310 million) over the next ten years. In addition, the contract will help sustain around 2000 jobs.

Involved in the UK's naval nuclear program since 1959, Rolls-Royce boasts a significant nuclear skills base with a large existing nuclear-certified supply chain. The company lists fuel handling, reactor maintenance, re-fuelling processes, non-destructive examination techniques and what it says are "unique decommissioning and waste handling capabilities" amongst its offerings to the nuclear industry.

B&W contract

Meanwhile, Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) said it had signed contracts totalling more than $510 million for the manufacture of nuclear components to support US defence programs, including the manufacture of naval nuclear power systems for submarines and aircraft carriers.

The work will be performed by B&W subsidiary B&W Nuclear Operations Group (B&W NOG) over an eight-year period starting in 2013 at its facilities in Lynchburg, Virginia, Barberton, Ohio and Vernon, Indiana.

B&W's civil nuclear plant products include: heat exchangers; pressure vessels; pressurizers; reactor vessels and closure heads; steam generators; and used fuel dry storage containers.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News