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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to Host UK Conference with Local Suppliers on PRISM Technology as Government Studies Plutonium Reuse Options

  • West Cumbria Conference to Highlight Opportunities for Local Businesses, Workers to Support Development of Potential PRISM Project
  • GEH Is Proposing Solution to Address Plutonium Legacy at Sellafield Site

LONDON-March 14, 2012- GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) will host a nuclear industry suppliers conference in West Cumbria, England to meet face-to-face with potential U.K. business partners in support of GEH’s proposal to offer its PRISM technology to help address the country’s plutonium waste management challenges. GEH will hold the conference on April 4 at the ENERGUS center in Lillyhall, Workington.

By 2018, the U.K. will have 140 tons of plutonium requiring disposition. GEH has put forward PRISM as the best way to manage the U.K.’s plutonium stockpile cost-effectively, securely, quickly and safely while generating 600 megawatts of low-carbon electricity. PRISM is GEH’s next generation sodium-cooled reactor that would dispose the U.K.’s plutonium by using it to generate electricity.

Plutonium stockpiles are currently being stored at Sellafield in West Cumbria, which is home to a highly talented and experienced nuclear workforce. GEH is committed, to the greatest extent possible, to utilizing U.K. companies and workers. Currently, General Electric Company, one of GEH’s parents, has approximately 18,000 U.K. employees countrywide.

Should PRISM be approved for construction, in addition to creating about 900 permanent jobs and thousands of expected indirect jobs for the local community, this multi-billion pound investment would stand to create a range of opportunities for suppliers while continuing to develop the country’s nuclear energy skills base and reaffirming Cumbria’s position of nuclear excellence with “Britain’s energy coast.”

“As well as being the best solution to the U.K.’s unique plutonium challenge, PRISM will also bring tremendous benefits to Britain’s nuclear supply chain,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects for GEH. “We’re excited to explore in detail how we can work with local suppliers and their experienced local workforce on PRISM.”

The suppliers conference is being supported by leading U.K. engineering firms Costain, Arup and Pöyry, which are GEH’s “CAP Alliance” partners on the proposed PRISM development project.

“The PRISM option has the potential to reduce the long term risk associated with the plutonium stockpile, generate low carbon electricity and, through its development for the U.K., could create thousands of high quality jobs, particularly in West Cumbria,” said Alistair Smith, Costain's nuclear development director. “Costain, Arup, and Pöyry are excited to help GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy offer the PRISM option to the U.K. and the local community.”

GEH’s PRISM technology provides an innovative solution to the objectives set forth by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)—the quickest disposal of plutonium at the best value—while providing substantial environmental, energy and economic benefits. GEH is currently working closely with the U.K. government, including the NDA, to detail why it believes PRISM technology is the best choice for the U.K. taxpayer.

About the GEH-Cumbria PRISM Suppliers Conference

Date:         4 April 2012
Time:         13:30 – 17:00
Location:   ENERGUS, Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 4JW

Suppliers interested in attending the conference should register their interest with Timothy Check at timothy.check@ge.com.

Media interested in attending the conference should contact Chris Rumfitt at chris.rumfitt@edelman.com or +44 020 3047 2153.

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by General Electric Company and Hitachi Ltd. to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.

For more information, contact:

Michael Tetuan
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
+1 910 819 7055

Tom Murnane or Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations
+1 518 786 6488