MHI ships vessel head for STP-2

4 January 2010

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has shipped a replacement reactor vessel closure head (RRVCH) for unit 2 at the South Texas Project (STP).

The RRVCH is a key component of a pressurised water reactor nuclear power plant. South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC) ordered two RRVCHs from MHI in 2006; the first unit was delivered in August 2009.

The RRVCHs are made of low-alloy steel, have a diameter of approximately 5 meters. MHI manufactures RRVCHs at its Kobe Shipyard and Machinery Works. With each RRVCH for STP, fifty-seven (57) stainless-steel control rod drive mechanisms (CRDM) are mounted, and the overall structure measures approximately 10 meters in height and weighs about 100 tons. CRDMs are devices that play a key role in the safe and stable operation of nuclear power plants. In the unlikely event of a system malfunction, CRDMs promptly insert the control rods into the reactor core to achieve emergency shutdown.

Since 2002 MHI has received orders for 15 RRVCHs, 6 replacement steam generators (RSG) and 1 replacement pressuriser in the USA.

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