Wilmington, N.C., May 27, 2010 — GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy announced a new workforce training initiative and second preliminary project development agreement as GEH expands its support of Poland’s plans to build commercial nuclear power plants to help strengthen the country’s energy security and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
With Poland proposing to build up to four new reactors at two sites, GEH has donated an additional five of its GateCycle software licenses to the Warsaw University of Technology to help train a new generation of skilled engineers to operate the new facilities. In March 2010, GE Energy donated five licenses to the University.
GEH’s customized GateCycle heat balance software is used to model nuclear steam cycles and is a valuable tool in teaching engineering students advanced methods of plant modeling and troubleshooting to optimize plant performance.
While a growing number of countries are competing for experienced engineers and skilled workers to build and operate their new nuclear power plants, GEH’s GateCycle initiative is helping Poland’s universities to develop the country’s long-term, domestic workforce.
Today, about 94 percent of Poland’s electricity generation comes from domestic coal-fired power plants. Poland plans to build its new reactors to help reduce the country’s dependence on coal-based technologies and overall national emissions levels as European Union member states seek to reduce their emissions by at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Nuclear energy is an attractive option because it generates electricity with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions.