GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to Help Ensure Long-term Availability of Spain's Cofrentes and Santa Maria de Garona Nuclear Power Plants

GE Energy - 11.02.2011

Spain’s Iberdrola and Nuclenor have awarded GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) with multi-year services contracts to help ensure the long-term reliability, availability and safe operation of the Cofrentes and Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plants.

The Cofrentes station, located in the province of Valencia and owned by Iberdrola, generates power using a GE boiling water reactor (BWR) that began operating in 1985. The Cofrentes station is one of the largest of Spain’s eight nuclear power plants and generates nearly 5 percent of Spain's electricity. The S.M. Garoña station, located in the province of Burgos and owned by Nuclenor, uses a GE BWR that has been in operation since 1971. It has achieved numerous awards due to its excellent efficiency and capacity factors. Nuclenor is split-owned by Iberdrola and Endesa.

“Iberdrola is committed to the long-term reliability of our Cofrentes and Garoña Nuclear Power Plants, which plays such a vital role in Spain’s national energy security,” said Diego Molina, Iberdrola’s chief nuclear officer. “This is why it is so important to work with service providers like GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, which has the expertise and experience with both stations to help us meet our operational goals.”

“With nuclear energy being one of the only near-zero carbon sources of baseload electricity, the plants also are playing a key role in our efforts to combat climate change by helping the country avoid the annual emission of about 9 million tons of carbon dioxide,” Molina noted.

Under terms of the six-year, multi-cycle services agreement—which contains options to extend the agreement to 10 years—GEH will provide a broad scope of outage and refueling services to ensure the optimal performance of the stations, including:

  • Drywell and vessel head disassembly/assembly
  • Reactor pressure vessel (RPV) maintenance
  • Visual and ultrasonic Inspections

In addition, GEH and the utilities intend to establish the needed infrastructure to promote more effective collaboration between the two companies, including a new steering committee, a leadership group, an asset management plan and an engineering consulting program. For example, the GEH-Iberdrola steering committee and the Cofrentes staff will develop an RPV asset plan and risk management strategy.

GENUSA, the European BWR fuel joint venture between Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) and Spanish nuclear fuel company ENUSA, will provide nuclear fuel reloads under a separate agreement. GNF is the GE majority-owned fuel fabrication and fuel engineering services venture jointly established by GE, Hitachi and Toshiba.

“GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy looks forward to extending our decades-long relationship with Iberdrola, Nuclenor and their staffs as our new agreement creates an even deeper level of collaboration than ever before,” said Kevin Lagasse, senior vice president of global nuclear services for GEH. “Our agreement is just the latest example of how we support the optimal performance and output of nuclear power plants around the world.”

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.

About Iberdrola

Iberdrola is a global, publicly listed company, with a 150-year history of contributing to the development of the energy sector, and providing quality and security of supply. Following a period of international expansion starting in 2001, Iberdrola is the fourth largest electricity group by market capitalization, with a presence in 40 countries and more than 30 million customers. Iberdrola is the leading energy group in Spain, one of the main operators in the United Kingdom and a world leader in wind energy. The company now has an installed capacity of more than 45,300 MW and a balanced, efficient and diversified generation mix.

About Nuclenor

Nuclenor is a public limited company with a 50 percent participation of the companies Endesa and Iberdrola. It is the owner of the Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant, a GE BWR with 466 MWe power that started its commercial operation in March 1971. Since the beginning of operation until the end of 2010 the plant had generated more than 125,000 million kWh. In 2010, Santa María de Garoña’s production was equivalent to a little over 6 percent of the Spanish nuclear production, with a load factor (production) of 94 percent, which is higher than the average for nuclear power plants with the same technology.

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Tom Murnane
Masto Public Relations
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Michael Tetuan
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
+1 910 819 7055
michael.tetuan@ge.com

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