WILMINGTON, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to lead a team of industry experts for an advanced nuclear technology development project.
The project will bring together a team consisting of Exelon Generation, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy (HGNE), Bechtel and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to examine ways to simplify the reactor design, reduce plant construction costs, and lower operations and maintenance costs for the GEH BWRX-300, a 300 MWe small modular reactor.
“We are excited to announce our continued industry collaboration to develop the BWRX-300, a potentially game changing technology,” said Jon Ball, Executive Vice President of Nuclear Plant Projects for GEH. “We have assembled a strong team of experts in nuclear plant design, construction methods and plant operations, with the goal of developing a clean energy solution that is cost-competitive with combined cycle gas generation and renewables.”
The project will receive more than $1.9 million in DOE funding, part of a nearly $20 million investment in advanced nuclear technology announced by DOE.
“Exelon is pleased to collaborate with this team of leading companies and thought leaders focused on innovation and sees promise in advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors like the BWRX-300, which are efficient and economical,” said Marilyn Kray, vice president of nuclear technology and strategy for Exelon Generation. “Our participation in the BWRX-300 effort affirms our commitment to a strong and successful future for customers who expect clean forms of energy. As the nation’s largest source of zero-emission energy, nuclear is critical to achieving the clean energy goals of our customers and communities, and must continue to be part of the U.S. energy mix.”
“The BWRX-300 is the ultimate simplification of the boiling water reactor which already had the intrinsic advantage of the direct steam cycle,” said Masahito Yoshimura, Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Management Division for HGNE. “We will contribute to this exciting project by bringing our advanced manufacturing and construction expertise, instrumental in completing our Japanese NPP projects on schedule and on budget, as well as our recently enhanced engineering capabilities developed for our UK ABWR project.”
“We’re excited to participate in this effort to study ways to efficiently build new plants utilizing SMRs,” said Mike Robinson, operations manager of Bechtel’s nuclear power group. “We’ll look at ways to bring innovation and modular technology to the project with the goal of optimizing cost and schedule, which are key factors for companies and utilities examining SMRs.”
"It’s an imperative of the nuclear industry to reduce the cost of deploying new plants,” said Dr. Jacopo Buongiorno, TEPCO Professor and Associate Department Head, Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT. “In this project Professor Franz-Josef Ulm from MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and I will work with GE Hitachi to design a new small modular nuclear reactor that adopts advanced concrete solutions and innovative construction techniques, which are expected to drastically cut its cost and schedule, and make it competitive with natural gas combined cycle power plants."
These technologies are anticipated to be incorporated into the BWRX-300, which leverages the design and licensing basis of the NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require up to 60 percent less capital cost per MW when compared to other water-cooled SMRs or existing large nuclear designs. If these savings can be achieved, the BWRX-300 can become cost-competitive with power generation from combined cycle gas and renewables.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety. Follow GEH on LinkedIn and Twitter @gehnuclear.
About Exelon Generation
Exelon Generation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC), is one of the largest, most efficient clean energy producers in the U.S., with a generating capacity of more than 32,700 megawatts. Exelon Generation operates the largest U.S. fleet of carbon-free nuclear plants with 20,300 megawatts of capacity from 23 reactors at 14 facilities in Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Exelon Generation also operates a diverse mix of wind, solar, landfill gas, hydroelectric, natural gas and oil facilities in 17 states with more than 12,400 megawatts. Exelon Generation has an industry-leading safety record and is an active partner and economic engine in the communities it serves by providing jobs, charitable contributions and tax payments that help towns and regions grow. Follow Exelon Generation on Twitter @ExelonGen, view the Exelon Generation YouTube channel, and visit http://www.exeloncorp.com/companies/exelon-generation.
Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that create long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. We operate through four global businesses: Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals. Our company and our culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to our values, the core of which are safety, quality, ethics, and integrity. These values are what we believe, what we expect, what we deliver, and what we live. www.Bechtel.com
About Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy
Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy (HGNE), a joint venture established by Hitachi, Ltd. and GE in July 2007, as one of the world’s leading comprehensive plant manufacturers, engages in the development, planning, design, manufacture, inspection, installation, pre-operation, and maintenance of nuclear reactor-related equipment and is able to execute integrated project management. HGNE has been involved with 23 reactors in Japan to date, including those currently under construction. http://www.hitachi-hgne.co.jp/en/