Global Nuclear Fuel wins reload business for Cooper plant in Nebraska

Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF), a joint venture majority owned by General Electric (NYSE: GE), announced Jan. 26 that it has been selected by Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to continue to provide fuel reloads for the Cooper Nuclear Station.

The fuel supply contract runs through January 2034 and includes nine reloads that will potentially provide fuel to the 810-MW boiling water reactor during its remaining lifetime. The total value of the contract is more than $100m. Cooper has been fueled by GNF since the joint venture of GE, Hitachi and Toshiba was formed in 2000. From 1974 to 1999, fuel for the plant, located near Brownville, Neb., was provided by GNF’s predecessor, the nuclear fuel division of GE Nuclear.

“Our support of Cooper spans more than four decades and this contract means we will provide the plant with fuel to operate across a 60-year lifespan,” said Kevin Walsh, CEO of GNF and Senior Vice President, Nuclear Services and Fuels for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. “We look forward to continuing this relationship and helping Cooper maximize power generation with our efficient, industry-leading GNF2 fuel assembly.”

“NPPD’s contract with GNF for the remaining licensed life of Cooper Nuclear Station is important to our Nebraska customers,” said Oscar Limpias, Vice President Nuclear and CNO at Cooper Nuclear Station. “NPPD’s goal is to ensure we have a reliable and economical source of fabricated nuclear fuel assemblies for the safe and long-term operation of Cooper which is a critical asset in NPPD’s fleet of power plants. We also look forward to seeing additional synergies during our refueling outages through our contract for outage and inspection services with GE Hitachi.”

The GNF2 high performance fuel assembly is designed to deliver increased energy output while decreasing overall fuel cycle costs. GNF2’s advanced design saves utilities money by reducing the total amount of uranium and the average enrichment in fuel reloads. Fuel for Cooper will be fabricated by GNF at its state-of-the-art facility in Wilmington, N.C. 

In June 2014, NPPD awarded a contract to GE Hitachi to provide a full suite of outage and inspection services at Cooper for six outages through 2024.  

GNF is a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi and Toshiba and operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas LLC in Wilmington, N.C., and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.