ŠKODA JS will supply the French with key equipment for the British power plant

13. 11. 2019

PRESS RELEASE: ŠKODA JS a.s. has signed a contract with the French company FRAMATOME for the production and delivery of two sets of the EPR 1600 MW reactor pressure vessel internals for the for the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, UK. The delivery includes especially the Core Barrel, Heavy Reflector and Upper Internals that are similar to the VVER 1000 upper block.

Core barrelCore barrel

The contract is a follow-up to similar deliveries by ŠKODA JS to French partners for nuclear power plant construction projects in Finland and China. In 2010, we supplied the core barrel, internals and heavy reflector, including the machining of individual forged rings (slabs), to the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant. In 2012, we supplied the same scope of delivery for the Taishan 1 NPP, only without the machining of the slabs. In both cases, the equipment is already part of the reactors. TVO, the operator of the Olkiluoto 3 NPP, announced in May that the hot operational tests of the new EPR reactor were successfully completed. As for Taishan 1, after the fuel was introduced into the reactor core in May, the physical start-up phase of the reactor was initiated. The Chinese power plant could start commercial operation at the end of this year.

“Last year, ŠKODA JS generated 68% of its revenues from export, confirming its position as a major player in the nuclear power industry,” said Vladimír Poklop, Chairman of the Board and General Director of ŠKODA JS. “We have been cooperating with the French partners for a long time and we are proud to uphold our position in their supply chain. Our main competitive advantage is the high quality, experience, innovation and skilled staff. We are ready to use our capacities, knowledge and skills acquired in foreign projects and in the construction of new nuclear sources in the Czech Republic.”

The basic parameters of the supplied equipment are as follows:

Core Barrel – weight about 80 tons, a welded and machined stainless steel structure to seat the reactor core and to streamline and uniform the coolant distribution to the core.

Heavy Reflector – weight about 100 tons, a stainless steel structure consisting of machined rings with cooling holes. The heavy reflector serves as a neutron reflector.

Upper Internals – weight about 80 tons, a welded structure with guiding tubes for the inserted drive mechanism rods to control the reactor power.

For the EPR 1600 MW technology, ŠKODA JS has also supplied a pressure vessel support ring, manipulator for safe handling of reactor internals during in-service inspections of the vessel interior, and a spent fuel cask handling machine.