French nuclear group Areva has set up a consortium with Korean engineering contractor Daelim Industrial Co for supplying six replacement steam generators for units 1 and 2 at Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power’s (KHNP) Ulchin plant. Areva, which has won a contract to provide six new steam generators for two Korean nuclear units, is to head the consortium and take the lead equipment manufacturing role.
The French nuclear company will perform primary system and licensing operations in cooperation with KHNP and Korea Power Engineering Co (KOPEC), while Daelim will implement all secondary and local activities associated with the project. The new components will be installed during outages planned for 2011 and 2012.
Ulchin 1 and 2 have been operating since the late 1980s. The two 950 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR) units were built to designs by Areva forerunner Framatome with the involvement of local contractors and manufacturers.
PWRs use steam generators to transfer the thermal energy generated in the reactor vessel to a secondary coolant circuit where it produces steam that is fed to a turbine system to generate electricity. Over time, the heat transfer tubes inside the steam generator degrade, decreasing the plant’s efficiency and making replacement necessary after around 20 years of operation. Steam generators themselves are major components, each weighing hundreds of tonnes, and their replacement is a major undertaking.
According to Areva, the contract was awarded after “tough” international competition while confirming “KHNP’s confidence in AREVA’s technology”, and would serve to strengthen cooperation between the French nuclear company and South Korea’s nuclear industry.