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EDF orders 44 steam generators

06 Oct 2011

French utility EDF has placed an order worth €1.5 billion ($2 billion) for the supply of 44 replacement steam generators. They will be supplied by Areva and Westinghouse.

Following an international call for bids launched in 2010, EDF's board yesterday approved an order for 32 steam generators from Areva and 12 from Westinghouse. The orders are worth €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) and €400 million ($545 million) to Areva and Westinghouse, respectively.

Steam generators are used in pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants to transfer heat from the reactor coolant into water in a secondary circuit to produce the steam used to power the electricity-generating turbines. PWRs may have up to four "loops", each with a steam generator. Each of the steam generators covered by the order weigh some 438 tonnes and have an interior circuit consisting of 122 km of tubes for the production of steam.

The replacement steam generations will all be installed at its 1300 MWe series of nuclear power plants. EDF said that the order "constitutes part of the programme for the gradual replacement of major plant components." In July 2010, EDF said that it was assessing the prospect of 60-year lifetimes for all its existing reactors. This would involve replacement of all steam generators (three in each 900 MWe reactor and four in each 1300 MWe unit) and other refurbishment, costing €400-600 million ($545-815 million) per unit to take them beyond 40 years. The company is currently replacing steam generators at a rate of two units per year, and plans to increase this to three units in 2016.

All the steam generator tubes will be produced by Valinox Nucleaire in Montbard, France. The steam generators supplied by Areva will mostly be forged and assembled at its facilities in Le Creusot and Chalon-sur-Saône. These steam generators will be installed at EDF's plants from 2017 onwards. According to the schedule drawn up by EDF, 16 steam generators are to be delivered by Areva in July 2016, eight in January 2017 and a further eight in January 2018.

Westinghouse said that it will manufacture and deliver its 12 replacement steam generators for EDF in collaboration with several industrial partners, including Mangiarotti in Italy for the steam generator assembly, as well as other European forging companies.