GE Power starts Arabelle production for Hinkley Point C

20 June 2018

GE Power's Steam Power and EDF Energy have reached a key project milestone with the start of manufacturing of the first rotor of the Arabelle steam turbine at GE's Belfort, France, centre of excellence for the Hinkley Point C project in England. The contract, awarded in May 2016, is on track to have its first 1770 MWe EPR reactor unit completed by 2025, GE said today.

Arabelle steam turbine rotor for HPC - 460 (GE)
An Arabelle steam turbine rotor for Hinkley Point C (Image: GE)

The steam turbine rotor allows the transfer of the turbine rotating movement to the generator, enabling electrical output. The Arabelle steam turbine - the largest in operation for the past ten years - produces 2% more power output than a traditional configuration and has a 99.96% reliability rate, GE said.

"We are very pleased with the progress of the Hinkley Point C project. We are on track with the project, which is expected to deliver around 7% of the UK's power generation capacity for the next 60 years," said Matthias Schweinfest, senior executive for business operations at GE Power's Steam Power. GE's Arabelle steam turbine represents six decades of nuclear steam turbine expertise, he added.

GE said it will supply the two conventional power islands for Hinkley Point C, which include the Arabelle steam turbine, generator, and other critical equipment.

Hinkley Point C's Arabelle turbines will be the largest ever built - longer than an Airbus 380 - and capable of producing 1770 MWe each, it added.

With an increase in the UK's retirement of power plants by 2030, the need for additional energy supply to secure its grid is critical, GE said, noting that Hinkley Point C is expected to deliver more than 3200 MWe to the grid, enough for six million homes, and avoid nine million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Located in Bridgwater, Somerset, Hinkley Point C will be the UK's first nuclear power plant to be built in more than 20 years.

GE Steam Power Systems announced in November last year the signing of a contract to deliver the main equipment of the conventional island for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Büyükeceli, Turkey. It will supply the four nuclear turbine generator sets including the Arabelle half-speed steam turbine, Gigatop 4-poles generator and condenser vacuum equipment.

Chooz and Civaux, both in France, have the largest Arabelle turbines currently in operation. When commissioned and in operation, Taishan in China and Flamanville in France will have the largest. 

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News