Areva will supply new rod line at Sellafield MOX plant

2 July 2010

Sellafield has signed a contract with Areva to design and supply a new rod line for its MOX plant. Work on the new rod line project–whose design already has a proven track record in France–has commenced, according to Sellafield. This success of this work is 'critical' to achieving planned throughput for long-term operation, it said.

On 12 May 2010, the NDA confirmed that an agreement has been reached with the Japanese Utilities on the way forward for manufacturing Japanese fuel in the Sellafield MOX Plant (SMP).

After completion of the existing manufacturing campaign, a programme of engineering improvements will be made to enhance SMP’s performance to manufacture MOX fuel for Japanese customers. A key part of this programme will be the installation of a new rod line, which will ultimately replace the existing rod manufacturing line, Sellafield said.

The NMP consortium who took ownership of Sellafield Ltd in November 2008 includes the French company AREVA, who has considerable expertise in MOX fuel manufacture. AREVA has already provided support focused on improving SMP plant performance and has now committed to sharing their technology by supplying the new rod line for SMP, Sellafield said.

The involvement of AREVA in making this engineering improvement to SMP will result in modifications to the rod manufacturing area with the aim of improving reliability to produce fuel at a higher rate than is currently being achieved, Sellafield said.

Sellafield added that the details of the contract are confidential.

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