New press for nuclear market

14 October 2010

A major new facility has been commissioned in Germany for the production of large reactor components. 


Steel ingot (Saarschmiede)
An ingot on the move
(Image: Saarschmiede)
The 12,000 tonne press installed at Völklingen by Saarschmiede GmbH Freiformschmiede can handle ingots of up to 370 tonnes - enough to make all but the largest reactor pressure vessels. The time for construction was only two years.


"Due to its geometrical dimensions," the company said, the press is "able to deal with all parts of the AP1000." It estimated that some four to six sets of heavy forgings for AP1000s could be made annually at the facility, given certain other expansions.


Saarschmiede added that its own steel mill can produce ingots of up to 330 tonnes. The firm already makes turbine and generator shafts for power generation and "has been concentrating intensively" on piping for reactor systems.


Westinghouse has sourced some forgings from South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries for the four AP1000s under construction in China as well as the four forthcoming units at Vogtle and Summer in the USA.


The reactor vendor was ready to invest with the UK's Sheffield Forgemasters in a 15,000 tonne press, but this project failed in June when the offer of an £80 million strategic government loan was withdrawn.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News