A new $73 million contract is job security for more than 600 employees at Areva’s fuel fabrication plant in Richland.
The plant will continue for another two decades to make reload fuel for a nuclear power plant in Connecticut. Areva recently was awarded a contract to supply reload fuel to Unit 2 of Dominion’s Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Conn., through 2035.
Mary Beth Ginder, a spokeswoman for Areva, said the contract gives the Richland fuel fabrication facility security for its future production.
Areva’s Richland plant makes fuel rods and pellets for nuclear power plants. The Richland facility will make Areva’s CE-14 HTP fuel for the Millstone Power Station, which is a specific fuel design for that reactor, she said.
“This contract award further solidifies Areva’s commitment to support this market segment well into the future,” Ginder said.
The Richland facility will provide a fuel reload to Millstone Unit 2 every 18 months, with the last delivery likely in 2033, she said.
The contract extension is great news for the Tri-City economy because it provides consistency to help retain jobs, said Diahann Howard, the Port of Benton’s director of economic development and governmental affairs.
Not many people realize that Areva’s Richland facility provides about 5 percent of the nation’s fuel in this sector, she said.
The contract means Areva will provide reload fuel supply and associated analytical studies and engineering services, according to a news release.
“Our employees are committed to helping utilities run their plants safely and efficiently, and we look forward to providing Millstone 2 with the highest quality, high-performance fuel on the market,” Ala Alzaben, vice president of mining and front end sales for Areva, said in a statement.
Kerry Basehore, Dominion’s director of nuclear analysis and fuel, said in a statement that Areva’s fuel configuration has worked well in Millstone Power Station’s Unit 2 core. It’s helped the company achieve its fuel performance goals.
“We are pleased to be able to extend our fuel assembly supply contract with Areva through 2035 and the end of the current unit’s operating license,” Basehore said.
Millstone Power Station’s Unit 2 generates about 869.5 megawatts, enough electricity to power about 209,000 homes, according to the company’s website. It’s been producing electricity since 1975.