Iberdrola Ingeniería says that it has completed a two-year project to upgrade Brazil’s Angra nuclear power plant.

The Spain-based engineering company has replaced the steam generators at the 657 MW power plant under a EUR79 million contract awarded in 2007. The project will help to ensure that the power plant operates at 100 per cent capacity, says Iberdrola Ingeniería, a subsidiary of the Spanish utility.

Iberdrola undertook the contract – awarded by state-run company Eletronuclear (Eletrobrás Termonuclear) – in two phases, starting with a study of the geometric specifications of both the old and new generators.

In the second phase, the reactor’s containment structure was opened, the old generators removed and the electromagnetic assembly of the new ones was undertaken. Once these works had been finished, tests were carried out to assure the correct functioning of the hydraulics and the integrity of the containment structure.

During the assembly of the generators, specific methods for moving heavy loads were developed and deployed, adapted to the specifications of the Angra nuclear power plant. The load in question surpassed 350 tonnes and was over 21 metres long.