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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH)

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Overview

History and Legacy

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors, fuel and nuclear services. The global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi combines GE’s design expertise and history of delivering reactors, fuels and services with Hitachi’s proven experience in advanced modular construction.

As one of the first reactor Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) GE was instrumental in engineering, designing, procuring, manufacturing and constructing more than 80 nuclear power plants globally. Combined, these plants provide more than 70 GW of electricity. GE built the 30 MWe Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) in Vallecitos, California as a prototype in just two years, receiving the first atomic power license from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. In 1957 this reactor became the first privately owned and operated nuclear power plant to deliver electricity to the grid. After that, GE built the 180 MWe Dresden 1 BWR, the first private commercial nuclear power plant.

Today, GE is involved in all facets of the energy sector. The company designs and manufactures industry-leading gas and wind powered turbines, power quality equipment, nuclear power generation technologies and transmission and distribution technologies. GE recognizes the need for greater decarbonization and will continue to be a part of the decarbonization transformation. GE strongly believes that nuclear power — and specifically SMRs — must play a critical role in the transformation.

Earlier this year, GE announced a goal of achieving carbon neutrality for our own operations by 2030. With over 1,000 facilities across the globe including factories, test sites, warehouses and offices, the scale of GE’s industrial manufacturing footprint means that achieving our new goal will represent a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Purpose

Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, GE Hitachi operates facilities in Wilmington, San Jose, California, Vallectios, California and Morris, Illinois. Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF), a GE-led joint venture, operates fuel manufacturing facilities in Wilmington and Kurihama, Japan. GNF, through a joint venture with ENUSA, markets fuel for plants in Europe that is manufactured at a facility in Juzbado, Spain.

To support the operating fleet, GEH is guided by the fundamental principles that matter most to its customers: operational safety, plant performance, dose reduction, life extension, long term asset management and outage management.

GEH offers various nuclear technologies including gigawatt scale BWRs (the ABWR and ESBWR), the Generation IV PRISM sodium fast advanced reactor and game-changing BWRX-300 small modular reactor.

The company’s purpose statement looks to the future: “We build on our legacy, boldly innovating to provide reliable carbon-free power to the world.”

Technology and Innovation

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared to other water-cooled SMR designs or existing large nuclear reactor designs.

By leveraging the ESBWR design certification, utilizing licensed and proven nuclear fuel, incorporating proven components and supply chains and implementing simplification innovations, GEH believes that the BWRX-300 can become cost-competitive with power generation from combined cycle gas plants and renewable energy platforms.

Because of this unique, design-to-cost approach, the BWRX-300 small modular reactor is ideally positioned to help Canada meet a growing demand for affordable, clean, carbon-free energy.

In 2020, GEH submitted two packages to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for the Vendor Design Review (VDR) of the BWRX-300. The submittals addressed 14 of the 19 VDR focus areas including general plant description, control system and facilities, research and development and design process. GEH applauds Canada and the U.S. for signing the historic Memorandum of Cooperation to increase regulatory effectiveness of reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies. This effort will further accelerate SMR deployment, while also demonstrating the need for international regulatory cooperation for SMRs.

Interest in the BWRX-300 technology is also growing globally. GEH has signed a cooperation agreement with Synthos Green Energy in Poland and have recently initiated the first steps in licensing the BWRX-300 in Poland. In addition, GEH has MOUs to examine the economic and technical feasibility of potential BWRX-300 construction with Fermi Energia in Estonia and ČEZ in the Czech Republic. In addition, GEH is engaged in conversation with several stakeholders and interested parties in both developed and emerging countries who are working toward carbon reduction targets.

Commitment to Canada

GE has operated in Canada for more than 100 years and today has major manufacturing facilities and sales and service locations across the country. The company is investing in innovation across the country bringing together global expertise and advanced technology to address the challenges that businesses are facing in Canada and worldwide. Developing localized supply chains is a core competency of our company, and we are committed to maximizing content in Ontario and the entire country. We believe our actions will position Canada to not only meet its own SMR and decarbonization goals but position the country for the global SMR market in becoming a first mover in technology and its associated supply chain capabilities.

In April GEH conducted a webinar with the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) for Canadian suppliers interested in providing material, equipment and services in support of the possible BWRX-300 construction in Canada. In November GEH participated in a webinar hosted by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) to encourage Indigenous businesses to join our effort. GEH intends to conduct additional supplier forums in the coming months and plans to invite all Canadian suppliers interested in potentially supplying goods and services for a BWRX-300 project.

GEH has entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with five Canadian companies. The MOUs with Aecon Nuclear, BWXT Canada Ltd., Hatch Ltd., Black & Veatch and Overland Contracting Canada Inc. (a Black & Veatch Company) form the foundation for the establishment of a Canadian supply chain to support potential BWRX-300 construction and provide future services and components. Through the MOUs GEH intends to cooperate in areas that include construction, engineering, modularization and manufacture of safety-related components. All five companies have extensive nuclear industry experience. This is just a start in our on-going efforts to maximize Canadian content.

GEH is also in the process of establishing a Canadian legal entity which will enable us to hire local talent across multiple disciplines to ensure the success of the project in the Ontario Province while providing high paying, local job.

GEH is honored to be part of this project in establishing Canada as a global leader in the SMR market and fully support the SMR Action Plan.

ACTIONS

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Initiatives to reduce SMR capital costs
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
GEH01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 38

ACTION

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is taking a unique, design-to-cost approach for the BWRX-300 small modular reactor. We are focused on reduced capital costs on components, structures and construction techniques. The BWRX-300 LCOE target makes it competitive with other forms of energy generation.

GEH has identified Canada as a significant potential market, and we have provided information about our technology to utilities in Canada through NDA’s.

EXPECTED RESULTS

We are committed to innovate to reduce capital costs while maintaining proven technology that enables low risk licensing approval.

We will continue to work with utilities, governments and relevant parties to update our progress on our design-to-cost activities.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Engagement with the regulator
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
GEH02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 44

ACTION

In 2019, GEH engaged with the CNSC on a combined Phase 1 and 2 VDR for the BWRX-300. Our first submittal to the CNSC was early 2020.

GEH is supporting, and will continue to support, the CNSC and its work with the U.S. NRC. These efforts should help expedite the licensing process in a variety of potential areas including fuel licensing, basing the design on IEC vs. IEEE standards and the use of IAEA based Defense-in-Depth.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Continue to work with CNSC on the licensing process to complete the VDR.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Partnerships and business models
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
GEH03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 46

ACTION

GEH has identified Canada as a significant potential market. We have signed NDAs with multiple Canadian utilities, provided information about our technology and participated in numerous meetings/ discussions.

In early October of 2020, it was announced that GEH will be working with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to progress options for the potential deployment of small modular reactors in Ontario including GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR, a major step in making the Canadian SMR Roadmap a reality. GEH will provide detailed information on the design process, licensing, scheduling and contracting that will help inform OPG on options for siting an SMR in Ontario.

EXPECTED RESULTS

We will continue with the process and provide the next level of information as requested on the technology to ensure success for Canada.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Fleet deployment pathways
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
GEH04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 47

ACTION

In April 2020 GEH conducted a webinar for Canadian suppliers interested in providing material, equipment and services in support of the possible BWRX-300 construction in Canada. GEH intends to conduct additional supplier forums. GE has a long history of building localized supply chains and looks forward to working with Canadian vendors to supply a wide variety of components and services.

GEH recognizes the value local Canadian talent can bring to the project development. We are currently in the process of hiring a “Canadian SMR Country Leader” based in Ontario as well as setting up a Canadian legal entity for our SMR business. These actions will accelerate SMR development by hiring local talent, engaging with local stakeholders, and building a robust network of partners and identify critical suppliers.

In support of building a BWRX-300 SMR supply chain in Canada, GEH has signed Memorandums of Understanding with Canadian suppliers Aecon Nuclear, BWXT Canada Ltd., Hatch Ltd., Black & Veatch and Overland Contracting Canada Inc., all of which have expertise in engineering, procurement, manufacturing, and construction.

Our intent is to maximize local content to help position Canada to both meet its own needs and capture a significant share of the global SMR market by becoming a first mover in technology and supply chain capabilities.

EXPECTED RESULTS

We will continue to identify key suppliers, host events/information sessions and build our supplier team.

We expect to have the Canadian Director hired by Q4 2020 and begin the on-boarding process.

POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Canada’s SMR Action Plan, Nuclear liability, Climate Change, etc
STATUS: UPCOMING
GEH05

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 4, 6, 18

ACTION

GE Hitachi recognizes the value of a strong policy framework for nuclear. GEH is committed to engaging proactively with Canadian policymakers at all levels of government to share our technology and global market expertise. In addition, we are working to support policymakers in their efforts to adapt the regulatory environment for nuclear liability and development of clean energy programs.

EXPECTED RESULTS

GEH will continue to engage policymakers and provide information so decisions are informed by sound data on technology, including issues of cost, safety and performance.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Indigenous Engagement; Research Programs, Promoting diversity in the future SMR workforce
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
GEH06
GEH07
GEH08

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 10, 13, 39

ACTION

Indigenous Engagement

GE Hitachi is committed to supporting utilities and governments by engaging in meaningful two-way dialogue with Indigenous communities on GE’s SMR technology

GE Hitachi will seek opportunities to integrate Indigenous suppliers to the BWRX-300 supply chain.

GEH is in conversation with the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) on opportunities and ways we may partner. We held a supplier event in November with CCAB to begin the process of partnering with the Aboriginal business community.

National SMR development research program

GE Hitachi will explore opportunities for research collaboration on SMR technology with Canadian academic organizations

Promoting diversity in the future SMR workforce

GE Hitachi is a signatory to “Equal by 30” under the Clean Energy Ministerial.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Positive relationships are built with Indigenous groups.

GEH will continue to understand Indigenous views, concerns, and priorities related to SMRs. Indigenous companies have the opportunity to participate and economically benefit from SMR deployment.

Capacity is built among the next generation leaders and workforce— including youth, women and Indigenous people.

The future SMR workforce is diverse and equitably recognizes contributions from women, youth, minorities and Indigenous people.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Retooling supply chains for global SMR value
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
GEH09

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 20

ACTION

GEH has provided technical briefings to the Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario and federal governments. We have shared our commitment to our SMR technology and the opportunities to work to build local suppliers and strong workforces.

GE Hitachi benefits from the global footprint of our parent company – GE. We have extensive experiencing globally and are currently engaging with interested stakeholders in many countries who are considering SMRs.

We look forward to continuing these conversations with governments to discuss global opportunities.

EXPECTED RESULTS

We will continue to seek opportunities for engagement with interested provincial and territorial governments. We would welcome the opportunity to better understand and discuss specific resources within the key provinces and territories; and how we may support those resources. We would also welcome the opportunity to discuss additional ways for international collaboration in key provinces and territories.