Ultra power control

Ultra Electronics has announced a contract for the provision of high integrity control systems within British Energy’s nuclear power stations.

The contract will involve the design, manufacture and installation of equipment for the controlled injection of carbonyl sulphide (COS) gas into the coolant systems of Torness Power Station’s two Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGR).

The programme will be led by Ultra’s business near High Wycombe with technical support provided by Ultra’s Precision Air Systems business in Gloucestershire. The systems are expected to be in service by 2010.

Chris Binsley, nuclear systems director at Ultra Electronics, said: ‘The company already supplies high integrity plant protection equipment and in-core monitoring systems. This contract extends Ultra’s reach into high pressure gas systems in the nuclear industry by building on existing skills in the business.’

The news of the contract follows Ultra Electronics’ recent $31.6m (£21.1m) acquisition of Weed Instrument, a manufacturer of instrumentations for civil nuclear industries in the North American market.

Weed is based in Round Rock near Austin, Texas and specialises in temperature and pressure sensors and fibre-optic switches for use in nuclear, aerospace and military applications.

Ultra has concentrated its nuclear systems activities, both military and civil, in its Information & Power Systems division. Weed will be an addition to this division and will report to the group’s Advanced Tactical Systems business, also based in Austin.

Douglas Caster, chief executive of Ultra, said: ‘Ultra has specialised skills and domain knowledge relating to the sensors and control systems that are required for the safe operation of modern nuclear reactors.

‘This is a rising market in both the UK and North America – money must be spent on replacing and upgrading existing systems while creating the capability to support future new builds. This acquisition gives Ultra a strong market position both sides of the Atlantic.’