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Exelon nuclear awards GE energy key equipment order to boost reactor performance

AZDEL : 04 March, 2006  (Company News)
Exelon Nuclear, the largest nuclear generation company in the nation, has awarded GE Energy's Nuclear business a commitment to purchase adjustable speed drive units for its fleet of boiling water reactors.
In order to boost plant efficiency and performance, GE will supply 'dual bank' ASD systems for reactors at Exelon Nuclear generating stations in Illinois, a deployment that could be extended to retrofit other BWRs in the Exelon fleet.

This is GE Energy's first ASD contract with Exelon, for which GE is providing system and application engineering, licensing support, hardware, architectural engineering, installation support, and long-term product support for the ASD systems - the most advanced, reliable drive unit in the industry.

'We are extremely pleased and honored that Exelon has selected GE as the supplier of choice for adjustable speed drives,' said Andy White, President and CEO of GE Energy's Nuclear business. 'The ASD installation into the Exelon BWRs represents the first major step in deploying this new technology in the U.S. marketplace.'

Designed to increase plant efficiency and output, an ASD provides a variable voltage signal to an existing plant recirculation system motor, allowing the operator to electronically adjust the motor's speed with greater flexibility and precision. ASDs are inherently more reliable and measurably more efficient than the original mechanical systems, throttling valves and motor generators sets they are designed to replace.

As a result, the reactors are expected to gain several megawatts of capacity annually with the added benefits of increased system reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

GE's 'dual bank' ASD systems are also designed to handle increased core flow in support of existing or future plant power uprates and can automatically detect, diagnose and avoid possible equipment or component failures. Operating with several redundant features, the drives are designed to complete a 'bump-less' transfer to the built-in back-up devices - making the drive 'single-fault tolerant' and therefore much more reliable than traditional single bank drive, non-redundant designs. ASDs are also available for a number of other applications.

GE, working with TM GE Automation Systems and Toshiba, will manufacture the drives in Japan, based on Toshiba's proven technology. Architectural engineering firm, Sargent and Lundy, LLC, will make other contributions to the project.

GE's Nuclear business, headquartered in Wilmington, N.C., develops advanced light water reactors and provides a wide array of technology-based products and services to help owners of both boiling and pressurized water reactors safely operate their facilities with greater efficiency and output.
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