CHORLEY, United Kingdom--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a support contract that will help protect against the risk of equipment obsolescence by keeping specialist nuclear equipment operational at the Sizewell B nuclear power station potentially for the next four decades.
EDF Energy has awarded Westinghouse a long-term contract to maintain the high-integrity control system and the primary protection system at the plant on the Suffolk coast. This new support program will enable EDF Energy to keep these systems operational through the end of the power station’s life, including during decommissioning, potentially for the next 45 years.
Sizewell B is a Westinghouse-designed plant and the UK’s only pressurized water reactor. It was built in 1988 and the current decommissioning date is 2035, although the company has expressed its aspiration to operate it to 2055. Both the high-integrity control system and the primary protection system are Westinghouse Eagle Series 2 equipment. The Westinghouse Eagle Series 2 is a platform based on 1980s digital technology.
Continued support is accomplished by maintaining the knowledge and expertise through a staff of Eagle-cognizant engineers and technicians and systematic, proactive supply-chain integrity evaluations. As part of the program, all individual parts and pieces of the equipment will be subject to component lifecycle reviews, and as obsolescence issues are identified, mitigation strategies will be developed.
Dave Unsworth, Westinghouse vice president and managing director, United Kingdom, Middle East and Egypt, explained, “As with any digital platform, the primary threats to long-term viability are the loss of knowledge base, and the obsolescence of essential components. The industry standard for addressing these threats has traditionally been through system upgrades. This program, which has been carefully formulated over the last 18 months, is designed to give our customer an alternative by preserving the ability to maintain the Eagle platform.
“Our aim isn’t simply to stockpile parts for the future, but to keep an active, working knowledge of the platform and its design. This knowledge can then be deployed to troubleshoot or redesign aspects of the system as required. Being able to rely on a service that will guard against significant vulnerabilities is hugely advantageous to our customers, helping them ensure continued operational safety and plant economy, both in terms of electricity production and in avoiding unplanned equipment upgrades.”
Westinghouse is developing similar programs for other Eagle equipment customers.
Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first commercial pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa., U.S. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants, including more than 50 percent of those in Europe.