ŠKODA JS’s development of its own and custom-made products, that is our way forward

Karel Bednář, Nuclear Equipment Division Director

Our history as well as our staff’s achievements and past projects – that is a commitment for us, but also a reference and competitive advantage.

Karel Bednář, Nuclear Equipment Division Director

The history of our company dates back to the mid-19th century, when Emil Škoda established an engineering plant in Pilsen. The history of ŠKODA JS as such starts in 1956. Thanks to a strong tradition, the engineering background in the region and the experience of several generations of technicians as well as engineering workers at a number of engineering plants, Pilsen was chosen as the new “hub of the nuclear program”.

The company quickly started the development of a new industry, and particularly thanks to the hard work of its leading technicians it could virtually immediately start production of the first Czechoslovak nuclear reactor – A1 at Jaslovské Bohunice NPP. This project led to the establishment of a strong professional background, with the company making a good name for itself and creating good conditions for its further involvement in the nuclear power industry. Over the years, our company acquired production halls, offices for the design team, and twenty years later the Reactor Shop was built on the premises of what was then the Škoda Works plant. In 1980-1992, a total of 24 complete VVER 440 and VVER 1000 reactor units were produced in the company’s production halls, including the control rod drives.

Our history as well as our staff’s achievements and past projects – that is a commitment for us, but also a reference and competitive advantage.

Projekční práce na systému Venting pro ukrajinské jaderné elektrárny

Our company responded to the changes in demand in the 1990s by developing a new production program, which started to focus on nuclear fuel handling. This area currently represents one of the key segments for our division. We developed our own, proprietary design of storage racks. We have successfully realized the development of casks of our own design for various types of fuel as well as nuclear waste, including the licensing process. The production and deliveries of casks for the storage of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste are a clear example of a trend in which we want to continue in the future.

Another key product are the modernized control rod drives with an extended lifetime. Thanks to our innovations, they meet all the technical as well as legislative requirements for long-term and reliable operation. ŠKODA JS produces and supplies control rod drives for various types of nuclear power reactors as well as research reactors, including their control systems.

Proprietary development and products, in full compliance with our customers’ requirements – that is our plan and way forward into the future.

Práce na dílech pohonů PRO-M

Newly designed special equipment and its production represents a large share of our wide portfolio of current deliveries. It would be impossible to list them all – virtually every piece of equipment produced in Pilsen is an original. Examples of such equipment include fuel discharging equipment for Flamanville NPP, equipment for the disposal of neutron flux sensors and thermocouples, a number of flange joint stud tensioners and a fuel assembly inspection stand.

Using research and development results, we constantly innovate our products to current technology standards and to meet the ever increasing nuclear equipment safety and reliability requirements. Our engineers also focus on the area of material research and development in collaboration with the world’s leading producers, universities and research and development institutions.

We invest in brand new technologies and the modernization of existing technologies. Our engineers have successfully designed and qualified the technology for welding cask bodies with a wall thickness of 450 mm. It is cutting-edge technology which is most likely not used in a similar way by anyone in the world. We are currently implementing the progressive technology of laser beam welding.

Virtual reality has become an integral part of our development activities not only with respect to the development of new equipment. We are actively seeking ways of utilizing the technology of 3D printing. Our own development allows us to offer and supply unique and custom-made solutions, proof of which is the international QUALITY INNOVATION AWARD for the year 2017, which we received for special equipment designed for the removal and disposal of neutron flux sensors and thermocouples from a VVER reactor.

We are building upon the work of our colleagues who helped build the foundations of the Czechoslovak nuclear power industry. Their experience and knowledge, formed and developed as a result of construction projects of nuclear power plants, are present in the company to this day. We are building upon our successful past. We are and want to continue to be a reliable producer and supplier of a wide range of equipment for both Czech as well as international customers and nuclear power plant operators. This task cannot be accomplished without our excellent technicians and their teamwork. Our people are our greatest asset.