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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Signs MOU Agreement with National Nuclear Laboratory to Work on Tackling UK Plutonium Stockpile 2012.04.07

Workington, U.K. - April 4, 2012 - With the U.K. government looking at ways to address its growing stockpile of civil plutonium, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy today signed a memorandum of understanding with National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd. NNL will provide expert technical input to the potential U.K. deployment of GEH's innovative PRISM reactor, which would be specifically designed to disposition the U.K.'s plutonium while generating 600 megawatts of low-carbon electricity.

Today, nuclear energy supplies 16% of the world's electricity, avoiding the emission of about 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year that would otherwise be generated by fossil fuel solutions, such as supercritical pulverized coal.
GE Hitachi has provided advanced and sophisticated technology for nuclear energy for over five decades. Three main product lines support this capability: advanced reactor technologies, nuclear services, and nuclear fuel cycle.
Courtesy of GE Hitachi
 

Workington, U.K. - April 4, 2012

With the U.K. government looking at ways to address its growing stockpile of civil plutonium, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd. (NNL).

NNL will provide expert technical input to the potential U.K. deployment of GEH’s innovative PRISM reactor, which would be specifically designed to disposition the U.K.’s plutonium while generating 600 megawatts of low-carbon electricity.

GE Hitachi has provided advanced and sophisticated technology for nuclear energy for over five decades. Three main product lines support this capability: advanced reactor technologies, nuclear services, and nuclear fuel cycle.
Courtesy of GE Hitachi
 
GEH also spent the day meeting with a number of skilled nuclear workers in West Cumbria to learn how they could work with GEH on PRISM’s potential deployment
.

The country is currently storing more than 87 metric tons (and growing) of plutonium at the Sellafield nuclear complex in West Cumbria, England.

The Central Laboratory at Sellafield is the flagship nuclear Research and Development facility in the UK. It supports new reactor build, operation of reactors, operations of fuel processing plants and decommissioning and clean-up.
Courtesy of NNL
 
The U.K. government confirmed its intention to reuse this plutonium
in December 2011, declaring that it “remains open to any alternative proposals for plutonium management that offer better value to the U.K. taxpayer.”

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) recently announced in February 2012 that it is seeking proposals for alternative approaches to manage the U.K.’s plutonium stockpile.

Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects for GEH.
Courtesy of GE Hitachi
 
“We are excited for the potential opportunity to utilize the expertise of NNL and help the U.K. continue to take a leadership role in the reuse of plutonium,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects for GEH.
“We believe that PRISM is the best way to manage the U.K.’s plutonium stockpile efficiently, securely and safely while generating low-carbon electricity at the same time.”

Prof. Paul Howarth, managing director of NNL.
Courtesy of NNL
 
“With our recognized technical capability and long experience in fuel cycle analysis, we are pleased that GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has looked to NNL to provide independent and authoritative input to the potential U.K. application of a PRISM reactor,” said Paul Howarth, managing director of NNL, which operates a number of research facilities in the U.K. including the flagship Central Laboratory on the Sellafield site.
“We look forward to working with GEH as they develop their approach to helping the U.K. address its plutonium legacy.”

The PRISM reactor builds on sodium-cooled reactor experience and employs passive safety design features.
It is a simplified reactor design, allowing factory fabrication with modular construction and ultimately lower costs.
Courtesy of GE Hitachi
 
Today, GEH, along with leading U.K. engineering firms Costain, Arup and Pöyry, (GEH’s “CAP Alliance” partners), met face-to-face with the number of highly talented and experienced nuclear sector suppliers in West Cumbria at the ENERGUS centre in Lillyhall, Workington.

GEH is committed, to the greatest extent possible, to utilizing U.K. companies and workers.

Currently, General Electric Company, one of GEH’s parents, has approximately 18,000 U.K. employees countrywide.

Should PRISM be approved for construction, in addition to creating about 900 permanent jobs and thousands of expected indirect jobs for the local community, this multibillion-pound investment would stand to create a range of opportunities for suppliers while continuing to develop the country’s nuclear energy skills base and reaffirming Cumbria’s position of nuclear excellence with “Britain’s energy coast.”

The PRISM Power Block
GEH is ready to support the DOE and utilities looking to build a GEN IV nuclear power plant to close the nuclear fuel cycle.
Courtesy of GE Hitachi
 
GEH is convinced that its PRISM technology provides an innovative solution to the objectives set forth by the NDA
- the quickest disposal of plutonium at the best value - while providing substantial environmental and economic benefits.

GEH is currently working closely with the U.K. government, including NDA, to detail why it believes PRISM technology is the best choice for the U.K. taxpayer.


About PRISM

PRISM is based on technology that was demonstrated in a fast reactor in the U.S. called the EBR II (Experimental Breeder Reactor) that operated successfully for 30 years.

Last year, GEH completed the commercialization of PRISM, which began in 1981.

Calculations have shown that PRISM technology would use practically all the stored plutonium at Sellafield.

This is very different from other competing proposals, including turning the plutonium into mixed oxide fuel.
Mixed oxide fuel (also known as “MOX”) simply puts the plutonium into a complex form that is highly radioactive while not actually eliminating any plutonium.

In contrast, the PRISM consumes much of the plutonium as a true fuel.


About NNL

NNL provides the experts and technologies to ensure the U.K. nuclear industry operates safely and cost-effectively today and for the future.

The company is owned by U.K. Government and managed by an appointed contractor (a consortium of Battelle, Serco and the University of Manchester).

 
 
NNL is run as a commercial business and receives no funding directly from U.K. Government
.

It has an annual turnover of around £80M and employs around 750 people (mostly professional scientists and engineers) across six U.K. locations.

NNL’s Central Laboratory includes state-of-the-art facilities which can handle plutonium and other highly radioactive nuclear materials, and these could play an important role in future fuel cycle work on PRISM or similar systems.


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 June 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.


Press contacts

Michael Tetuan
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

+1 910 819 7055
michael.tetuan@ge.com  

Adrian Bull
NNL
+44 (0)7894 836553
adrian.j.bull@nnl.co.uk  

Chris Rumfitt
Edelman

+44 020 3047 2153
chris.rumfitt@edelman.com  

GE news
Masto Public Relations

information@mastopr.com  


Source: GE

http://www.genewscenter.com/content/default.aspx?newsareaid=2  



ASTROMAN Magazine - 2012.03.17

The U.S. Energy Information Administration presents updated projections for U.S. energy markets to 2035

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1208  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.09.18

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Fluor Corporation Team Up on Polish Nuclear Power Plant Project

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1059  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.09.18

World's leading nuclear power companies adopt principles of conduct

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1058  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.09.08

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Expands Workforce Training Collaboration with Poland's University Sector

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1052  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.09.06

GE Energy Completes $3.2 Billion Deal to Acquire Converteam

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1051  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.08.28

Saskatchewan and Hitachi Sign R&D Agreement on Nuclear Medicine Technology

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1044  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.04.23

Westinghouse Appoints Joe Zwetolitz as Vice President in the Company's Americas Region

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=953  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2011.03.06

Japońskie Technologie Środowiskowe - międzynarodowa konferencja w Warszawie

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=911  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2010.07.18

International Nuclear Energy Development of Japan

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=761  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2010.05.06

Westinghouse and PGE Agree to Partner on Delivering Nuclear Energy Solutions for Poland

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=715  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2009.04.26

Toshiba, NRG Energy and CPS Energy Sign EPC Agreement for Two ABWR Nuclear Plants in the U.S.

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=485  



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