3D printing for NPPs

27 June 2016

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has been selected to lead a $2m additive manufacturing research project for the US Department of Energy (DOE) by producing sample 3D replacement parts for NPPs. GEH said the samples will be 3D printed in metal at the GE Power Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in South Carolina and shipped to the DOE's Idaho National Laboratory (INL). "Once irradiated in INL's Advanced Test Reactor, the samples will be removed, tested and compared to an analysis of unirradiated material conducted by GEH," the company said. "The results will be used by GEH to support deployment of 3D printed parts for fuels, services and new plant applications." According to GEH president and CEO Jay Wileman: "The potential of 3D printing to speed delivery time and reduce the cost of manufacturing performance-enhancing replacement parts for nuclear power plants is quite significant." GEH is also taking part in a DOE-funded project with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop stainless steel with enhanced stress corrosion cracking and irradiation resistance.

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