The contract is in line with Areva's long term plans to secure critical supplies to enable it to meet the strong demand for nuclear power plants worldwide. Under the terms of the contract, Sandvik will make the first delivery of the steam generator tubes at the end of 2013.
Sandvik is a leading supplier of steam generator tubing for the nuclear power industry, which requires extremely high-quality products. The company has been manufacturing steam generator tubes for more than 30 years, with the first order being supplied to the Stade nuclear power plant in Germany in 1968. These tubes are still in operation, and since then Sandvik has supplied more than 30,000 kilometers of tubing for use in nuclear plants in more than 20 countries throughout the world.
Sandvik produces steam generator tubes in two basic alloy compositions. The Sanicro 69 is a nickel-chrome-iron alloy used mainly in pressurized water reactors (PWR). The material exhibits high stress and pitting corrosion resistance even in caustic and hostile environments. The Sanicro 30 is a low-carbon nickel-chrome-iron alloy used in PWR plants and other heat exchanger applications where the temperature range does not exceed 550 degrees Celsius.
Areva operates in every sector of the nuclear power generation cycle, including uranium mining, fuel preparation, and reactor design and construction. The company is a world leader in electricity transmission and distribution services and is also involved in other forms of carbon-free renewable energy systems such as biomass and wind power generation.
Within the nuclear energy sector, Areva operates three basic divisions. The Front End division deals with uranium ore exploration, mining, nuclear fuel enrichment and design, while the Reactors and Services division covers the design and construction of nuclear power plants. The Back End division takes care of the treatment and recycling of nuclear fuel and nuclear clean-ups.
Areva's Reactors and Services division designs and constructs light water nuclear reactors, PWRs, boiling water reactors and the European pressurized reactor (EPR). The latter is an advanced type of PWR plant with a projected service life of 60 years, compared with 40 years for other types.
The market for Areva's nuclear power plants is growing across the globe. Currently, the firm is constructing an EPR nuclear plant in Flamanville, France, for Électricité de France SA. Construction of the plant began in December 2007. Areva entered into an alliance with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company in 2007 to construct two EPR plants and supply materials and services for a period of 15 years. Areva plans to build an EPR plant in Finland for Teollisuuden Voima Oyj with a completion date set for 2012.
In addition, Areva has submitted its UK EPR reactor design to the British Regulatory Commission for precertification and has also submitted the certification document for the U.S. EPR to the United States National Regulatory Commission. The first EPR plant in the U.S. is scheduled for commissioning in 2015.