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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and EnergyLab to Help Italy Pursue Next Generation of Safe Nuclear Power Plants for Near-Zero-Carbon Electricity.

World-Leading Reactor Designer, Non-Profit Organization to Address Energy Security for Italy

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced it has signed an agreement with EnergyLab Foundation to support Italy's pursuit of safe nuclear energy to address the country's goals for energy security and cleaner energy.

Under the memorandum of understanding, GEH will work with EnergyLab to explore opportunities for new nuclear power plants based on GEH's ABWR and ESBWR reactor designs.

EnergyLab ("Fondazione EnergyLab"), a Milan-based non-profit organization, collaborates with some of Italy's leading energy companies, universities and local governments to help solve the country's energy and environmental challenges.

Aiming to reduce dependence on imported energy sources and meet environmental goals, Italy's government in 2008 ended a ban on domestic nuclear energy production and announced plans to build eight to 10 new nuclear power stations. Nuclear energy is becoming an increasingly attractive option globally because it generates electricity with virtually zero carbon emissions.

About 10 percent of Italy's electricity is generated by nuclear power, but all of it is imported, according to the World Nuclear Association. The Italian government has set a goal of producing 25 percent of the country's electricity from nuclear energy by 2030.

The United States and Italian governments signed a bilateral civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreement in September 2009, supporting GEH and other U.S. companies' ability to supply Italy with nuclear reactor technology and services.

"To deliver on EnergyLab's mission, we aim to disseminate as widely as possible knowledge regarding advanced nuclear technologies," said Silvio Bosetti, general manager for EnergyLab Foundation. "We think that our collaboration with GEH will support this mission, widening access for our country to a well-experienced nuclear technology, and this will help start the nation's new nuclear energy program."

EnergyLab was founded in 2007 by the Lombardia regional government; AEM Foundation and the Edison Foundation (created by energy companies A2A and Edison); the municipality of Milan; the University of Milan; the University of Milan-Bicocca; the Catholic University; Milan Polytechnic; Bocconi University and the research center ERSE.

GEH, the global nuclear energy alliance of GE and Hitachi, is a world-leading provider of advanced reactor technology and nuclear plant services, with more than 50 years of experience. GEH participated in the launch of Italy's first domestic nuclear energy program on behalf of Enel, which included an 860-MW, second-generation boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear power plant. This station operated from 1978 until it was closed as the country ended its first nuclear energy program.

"We look forward to collaborating with EnergyLab to help ensure that Italy's government and energy sector understand how our ABWR and ESBWR technologies can help address the country's pressing economic and environmental priorities," said Danny Roderick, a GEH senior vice president.

GEH has established nuclear supply chain affiliates in Europe and has the potential to leverage the expertise of GE's Milan-based energy services group, as well as the experienced workforce and manufacturing facilities of GE Oil & Gas, which is headquartered in Florence.

"For Italy and other countries preparing to build new nuclear power plants," Roderick said, "it is important to work with companies with experienced global and regional supply chains vital to completing reactor projects on schedule and on budget."

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is 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.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 9, 2010
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