Plant components for Dominion

02 May 2007

In advance of its expected submission of a license this year to build a boiling water reactor (BWR) at North Anna, Dominion has signed contracts with General Electric (GE) to purchase heavy forgings for the future plant.

The contract concerns plant components which require a long time and require special manufacturing facilities to make - parts of the reactor pressure vessel, steam turbine and generator. Industry observers informed World Nuclear News that around ten forgings of up to 500 t would be required for GE's Economic Simplified BWR (ESBWR) or its Advanced BWR (ABWR).

In August 2006, GE made reservations for such long lead items with Japanese forging companies in advance of commitments to build from potential customers. At that time, the number of potential new nuclear plant orders was growing rapidly, while it was becoming clear that the capability of heavy industry to manufacture so many components would not develop at the same speed. GE confirmed that Dominion's components would be sourced outside the USA.

By confirming orders for components in advance, Dominion would be able to avoid potential bottlenecks in the global nuclear supply chain.

Similar steps to secure heavy components were also taken in 2006 by another nuclear plant vendor, Areva, which is seeking to build a series of its Evolutionary Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) in the USA as part of a joint venture with Constellation called Unistar.

Further information

General Electric