GE Steam Power manufactures largest last-stage blade for Hinkley Point C’s Arabelle steam turbine

GE Steam Power designed and manufactured the largest-ever last-stage blade for its Arabelle’s low pressure rotor. The 75-inch last-stage blade will be used for the 3.2GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.

Once completed, the Arabelle steam turbine will be the most powerful nuclear steam turbine in operation. Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is a project to construct a 3,200 MWe nuclear power station with two EPR reactors in Somerset, England.

The fully assembled low pressure rotor was tested at GE’s factory in Belfort, France and inserted into a balancing pit specifically designed for large turbines. The 8-meter-wide bladed module rotated at a speed of 1,500 revolutions per minute, similar to the future site conditions. The rotor is set to be shipped from Belfort factory to Hinkley Point C site in 2021.

As part of its contract for the engineering, procurement, and commissioning of the two conventional islands for Hinkley Point C, GE Steam Power is in the process of manufacturing and delivering critical equipment including the Arabelle steam turbine and generators.

Last stage blades are part of the low-pressure module in a steam turbine generator which converts steam into electricity in a nuclear power plant. Longer blades increase efficiency of a steam turbine and allow to further optimized backpressure, all of which contribute to greater power output from the nuclear power plant.

Following the delivery of Akkuyu’s first equipment, GE Steam Power is helping to install more than 20 GW of energy in the coming years thanks to its Arabelle steam turbine technology, consolidating the fleet to 53 GW globally.