United Engineers & Constructors joint venture successfully completes steam generator replacement at Watts Bar

The Steam Generating Team (SGT), a joint venture between Framatome and Mount Laurel-based United Engineers & Constructors said it successfully completed the steam generator replacement project at the Tennessee Valley AuthorityWatts Bar Unit 2 nuclear plant.

The plant returned to full operations after all four original steam generators were replaced during the scheduled outage.

“This project, like many others performed by SGT, utilized our experienced team and proven processes customized for steam generator replacement,” Art Lembo, president of SGT said. “I’m especially proud of our team for completing this outage with zero recordable incidents and personnel exposure below ALARA goals, an accomplishment that speaks to SGT’s vigilance in industrial and radiological safety.”

Large component replacements are significant engineering and operational projects. To remove and replace the 67-foot, 360-ton steam generators through the reactor building, temporary openings in the reactor building dome, containment and steam generator enclosures were required. Precision measurements utilizing meticulous metrology practices, along with optimized 3D fit-up solutions and specialized machining enabled experts to precisely place the replacement steam generators back into the existing plant configuration.

“SGT’s performance in safely delivering this critical and technically complex project is a cornerstone in our commitment to support the long-term operations of our customers’ plants in North America,” Catherine Cornand, senior executive vice president of the Installed Base Business Unit at Framatome said.

“We are very happy to have performed a significant role for TVA in their investment in the life extension of the Watts Bar plant and its role in providing carbon-free, reliable power to the Tennessee Valley,” Scott Reeder, chief executive officer of United said. “At United, our mission is to partner with our clients to deliver innovative and transformative infrastructure designed and built to meet the demands for today and for the future. As such, we are committed to continued support of nuclear technology as it takes its place in environmentally responsible carbon-free power supply.”

Steam generators serve as heat exchangers in pressurized water reactors. These components use the heat generated by the reactor to create steam that drives the turbines, which turns a generator and creates electricity.

SGT provides highly specialized heavy component replacement services and other major projects to the nuclear industry. Formed in 1991, SGT combines the knowledge of premier nuclear construction from United with Framatome’s world-leading supply of services, fuel, engineering and heavy components for nuclear power plants.

Operated by TVA in eastern Tennessee, Watts Bar Unit 2 produces 1,150 megawatts of continuous electricity, with the entire plant supplying enough power for 1.3 million homes daily.