GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) continues to expand its presence in the Finland. Today the company announced it has signed a new project development memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Finnish software and systems engineering firm Space Systems Finland Ltd. (SSF), which specializes in the validation and verification of safety critical software for various industrial sectors, including the aerospace and utility industries.
Under the agreement, the companies will explore potential opportunities to collaborate on future nuclear power plant projects globally as well as in Finland as the utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) is looking to build a fourth reactor at its Olkiluoto nuclear power station.
The signing of the MOU coincided with a meeting between John Krenicki, vice chairman of GE (NYSE:GE) and president/CEO of GE Energy, and Finnish energy industry leaders at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki to discuss how GE can support Finland’s efforts to expand the production of lower-carbon, alternative energy supplies, including the construction of new nuclear power plants.
“The ESBWR is an excellent example of how GE is providing its customers around the world with the most diverse portfolio of technology and services to help meet their unique energy and environmental priorities,” said Krenicki, who also presented the embassy with a scale model of the ESBWR that will be on display there. As part of the League of Green Embassies, the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki is a world leader in promoting energy efficiency and the embassy itself is being renovated to incorporate the latest green technologies.
TVO is evaluating several different reactor technologies for its “Olkiluoto-4” project, including GEH’s Generation III+ Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design. GEH’s ESBWR utilizes natural circulation and passive safety technology, and is the world’s safest available reactor design as measured by industry standards. In 2011, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued its final design approval for the ESBWR, clearing the reactor design to be built by utilities around the world.
As part of the new MOU, SSF will support GEH in making sure that the ESBWR’s advanced digital instrumentation and controls (I&C) systems can be licensed in Finland. SSF will review the design, and identify and recommend any system architectural modifications necessary, if any, for the ESBWR design to comply with Finland’s special regulatory requirements.
“Space Systems Finland is excited to work with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy by using our extensive expertise in safety-critical systems to help ensure the ESBWR meets Finland’s nuclear industry requirements and standards,” said SSF Managing Director Veera Sylvius.
In order to meet TVO’s project expectations and provide the most competitive bid for an ESBWR project, the MOU with SSF is part of GEH’s ongoing strategy to expand its local nuclear supplier network in Finland and complement its proven global supply chain.
“GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is very fortunate to collaborate with SSF to help us license our advanced ESBWR instrumentation and control technology in Finland,” said David Durham, global sales leader for GEH. “SSF has extensive experience working with both the Finnish regulators and utilities on nuclear I&C design. Having SSF as a local partner fits perfectly with GEH’s strategy of building the ESBWR using the expertise of Finnish companies.”
Previously, in November 2011, GEH also signed an MOU with Fluor Corp., a leading international engineering and construction company, to jointly bid for the potential ESBWR project in Finland. GEH and Fluor attended FinNuclear’s “Meet the Vendor” event in Tampere, Finland in October 2011. The forum, hosted by the Finnish Nuclear Industry Association, brought together reactor vendors and potential Finnish suppliers—including SSF—to help engage the country’s knowledgeable and experienced local nuclear workforce.
Finland has four nuclear reactors that supplied more than 28 percent of the country’s electricity in 2010, according to the World Nuclear Association. In July 2010, Finland’s parliament ratified "Decisions in Principle" for the construction of two additional reactors, including TVO’s “Olkiluoto-4” project.
About Space Systems Finland
Founded in 1989, Space Systems Finland Ltd (SSF) is a privately held company based in Espoo, Finland and is owned by key employees. SSF has a long heritage of designing software for satellites and satellite ground systems. Today SSF's main business is system and software design for safety and mission critical systems as well as assessment of safety critical systems in chosen technological areas, including the nuclear and aerospace industries.
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.
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