The daily renewal of nuclear energy is going strong in the United States. Utilities and nuclear energy technology suppliers (like AREVA Inc.) are ramping up this powerful clean air energy source through advanced nuclear fuel designs, new and enhanced reactor components, and workforce development initiatives building interest in STEM careers.
U.S. Utilities Refueling for Better Performance
Utilities are seeking to boost the power and efficiency of their nuclear energy facilities through advanced nuclear fuel designs for both Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) … and they’re finding a solution with AREVA fuel made in Richland, WA.
For BWRs, our advanced ATRIUM™ 10XM design delivers increased fuel mass and superior critical power performance to achieve significant fuel cycle cost savings in 18-month to 24-month cycles and uprate conditions. Utilities selecting AREVA fuel for their sites include TVA Browns Ferry, Xcel Energy Monticello, PSEG Hope Creek, and others.
On the PWR side, utilities are choosing AREVA fuel for their current needs (PSEG Salem), while at the same time helping develop the next generation of fuel design. Six utilities – including Dominion, Duke Energy, Exelon and PSEG – established a technical advisory board for the deployment of GAIA, AREVA’s next-gen PWR fuel assembly design to advance PWRs’ optimal performance and high burn-up capability.
Expert Outage Services Deliver High Certainty and Robust Components
But high performance fuel needs a finely tuned, high performance engine to crank out increased power, and that’s where AREVA’s proven components and expert outage service teams perform the best. Whether it’s the manufacture and safe delivery of Ameren Missouri’s new reactor vessel closure head to Callaway Energy Center, seismic component dedication at our Technical Center in Virginia, or 22 non-destructive examinations (NDEs) in one spring outage season – all completed safely, on budget, and on schedule – AREVA’s reliable expertise helps utilities repower their reactors sooner and stronger.
Innovations and Inventions Boost Utilities’ Successes
When AREVA partners with its customers to solve technical challenges, the collaboration can result in new tools and safer methods for improved nuclear plant performance. These successes were recognized when three utilities earned NEI’s Top Industry Practice (TIP) Awards using innovative AREVA technology: Dominion’s use of AREVA’s first-of-a-kind Lower Girth Weld Inspection Tool (LGWIT) at Surry Power Station, APS’s reactor vessel bottom-mounted instrument (BMI) nozzle repair at Palo Verde, and AEP’s clevis bolt replacement on the DC Cook Unit 1 reactor vessel’s lower radial support system.
Safety and responsiveness are also driving upgrades to U.S. nuclear facilities’ control rooms with the implementation of modern digital instrumentation and controls systems (digital I&C). These fiber optic “brains” with independent, redundant subsystems accelerate awareness and reaction, and achieve proven results in safety, operational efficiency, overall plant reliability, operational cost reductions, and positive operator feedback. In the U.S., AREVA is the only supplier that has supported the successful licensing, engineering, procurement, installation, and commissioning of a nuclear reactor’s full-scope digital I&C. Including the three U.S. installations, our TELEPERM® XS digital I&C platform is installed or on order at 81 units at 43 separate sites in 16 countries.
With Next-gen Tech and Services, You Need Next-gen People
It’s a simple fact: By 2016, 39% of the U.S. nuclear energy workforce will be eligible for retirement. Include those open positions with the projected 1 million-plus job openings by 2018 in science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM) – and the need for intentional workforce development is readily apparent. To build the workforce of the future, many of AREVA’s employees are actively involved in encouraging students – from elementary schools to college campuses – to explore careers in STEM topics. AREVA also partners with NAYGN members and ANS college chapters in educating and energizing the next-gen nuclear workforce.
Through advanced nuclear fuel designs, new and enhanced reactor components, and focused workforce development, AREVA is proud to perform a key role in the daily renewal of U.S. nuclear energy. Stay tuned for more advancements, and explore our online catalog to learn more about AREVA’s broad portfolio of products and services: us.areva.com/catalog.