Wilmington, N.C., February 16, 2011 – GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin. The two U.S.-based companies will join forces to design and build advanced digital control systems and nuclear reactors.
Lockheed Martin has experience in the nuclear power generating sector after establishing itself as a leading supplier of safety-critical instrumentation and control systems to the U.S. Navy as well as previous civilian projects for more than 50 years. Lockheed Martin I&C systems are currently operating on all U.S. submarines and aircraft carriers deployed worldwide.
In addition to main controls packages, Lockheed Martin also will provide GEH with related simulation and training support, as well as services and replacement equipment.
The ESBWR is a front-runner to become one of the first next-generation models to be fully certified for U.S. construction by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is expected to complete its final rule making of the design by Fall 2011.
Recently, the design was recommended for approval by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards with no open items.
GEH’s Generation III+ ESBWR incorporates passive safety and natural circulation features, as well as a fully qualified digital I&C system. The evolutionary technology is based on GE’s ABWR, which was NRC-certified in 1997 and is the only Generation III or higher technology in commercial operation today.
GEH and Michigan utility DTE Energy are collaborating on an ESBWR project adjacent to its existing Fermi 2 nuclear plant, 35 miles south of Detroit. The NRC is currently reviewing the utility’s license application for its proposed “Fermi Unit 3″ project which serves as the Reference Combined Operation License for the design.
The majority of Lockheed Martin’s design and production work will be performed at its design engineering and manufacturing facilities in Archbald, Pa., and Dallas, Texas. Simulation and training support will be provided in Orlando, Fla.