Today in Virginia we at AREVA celebrated the grand opening of a new, $6.5 million Chemistry and Materials Center (CMC). It’s an 8,000 square foot, two-story building at our facility in Campbell County. Here several labs will work and provide key services to help AREVA’s customers with their continuing efforts to fight corrosion damage to plant components and fuel.
For the already operating nuclear power plants, the CMC will dedicate general and specialized chemistry, corrosion, and metallurgical testing and analysis support. It will also aid with the design development and deployment for the US EPR™.
Why is reducing corrosion damage so important? The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimated in a study from 2001 that corrosion damage costs the U.S. electric power generating industry $17.3 billion annually or nearly 8% of the cost of electricity to consumers. As much as half of all forced outages at power plants can be traced back to corrosion damage, and this $3.8 billion cost is considered avoidable.
As AREVA NP Inc. CEO Michael Rencheck pointed out, “Our new Chemistry and Materials Center will increase efficiency at current plants helping utilities control costs that are eventually passed on to the consumer.” But the CMC is also great news for Central Virginia. Bryan David, the executive director of Virginia’s Region 2000 Economic Development Council, said that “AREVA, with its growing, high-skilled base of employees, is doing the right things to help our region provide a supportive environment for business and knowledge creation.”
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