The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has been selected to lead a $2 million additive manufacturing research project.
GEH will lead the project by producing sample replacement parts for nuclear power plants. The samples will be 3D printed in metal at the GE Power Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in Greenville, SC and then be shipped to the 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 results will be used by GEH to support deployment of 3D printed parts for fuels, services and new plant applications.
“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,” said Jay Wileman, President and CEO, GEH. “We want to recognize the Department of Energy for its leadership in advanced nuclear research and we look forward to working with the Idaho National Laboratory.”
The project is part of a more than $80 million investment in advanced nuclear technology announced last week by DOE. Nuclear Science User Facilities funding will be used to provide GEH with access to world-class neutron and gamma irradiation and post-irradiation examination services.
“Nuclear power is our nation’s largest source of low-carbon electricity and is a vital component in our efforts to both provide affordable and reliable electricity and to combat climate change,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in announcing several awards recently.
GEH is currently participating in a DOE-funded project with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop stainless steel with enhanced stress corrosion cracking and irradiation resistance.
The GE Power Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in Greenville opened in April. GE has invested $73 million in the facility to date and will invest another $327 million across the GE Power Greenville campus over the next several years to drive innovation and the faster development of best-in-class technologies that deliver more value for customers across the globe.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GEH is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a part of a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi 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. Follow GEH on Twitter.