10 Sep 09. India’s BEML sees Indonesia as base for regional expansion
Indian company BEML, which manufactures a range of military and commercial heavy vehicles and machinery, has opened an office in Indonesia with a view to increasing exports in Southeast Asia. An official from the company, which is owned by the Indian Ministry of Defence, told Jane’s on 10 September that the Jakarta office, which commenced operations earlier this month, will initially be focused on marketing, selling and providing after sales support for commercial equipment. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Sep 09. Major milestone achieved in nuclear submarine overhaul and refuel. Primary Circuit Decontamination (PCD) has been successfully completed on SSBN HMS Vigilant, marking a major milestone in the submarine’s Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOP(R)) currently being undertaken by Babcock at Devonport. The completion represents a key achievement which is a critical enabler for the next phase of the LOP(R) programme, allowing the refuel and reactor systems maintenance programmes to begin. The project also marks a return to service of the £270m PCD facility at Devonport, which was first used on HMS Victorious in 2005, and has benefited from the application of a Learning from Experience (LfE) programme. During reactor operation an oxide film builds up on wetted primary circuit surfaces, comprising a combination of ‘grown-on’ oxide and deposited oxide circulating with the primary coolant, arising from natural wear to bearings. Such wear products can become activated during their passage through the reactor core, and may subsequently become deposited around the primary circuit and incorporated in the resilient oxide film, which contributes to background radiation levels around the reactor compartment. Decontamination of the naval nuclear steam raising plant (NSRP) is therefore desirable, as early as possible in the LOP(R). The most significant component from a radiological point of view is cobalt and is only usually present in small quantities, but as this cannot be selectively removed from the film, the PCD process is designed to remove the entire oxide film. Further, in undertaking the subsequent boronation process (part of the post-PCD procedure, involving injection of potassium tetraborate into the reactor plant as a corrosion inhibitor and neutron suppressor), the potassium tetraborate used on HMS Victorious was recycled through an evaporation process and re-used on HMS Vigilant; a first use of this part of the process plant in the PCD facility. This has helped cut down on Babcock’s nuclear waste inventory and avoided the need to dispose of the used chemicals as low level, active waste.
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
15 Sep 09. Following a detailed review of its current and future business levels, BAE Systems has announced it has started consultation regarding the potential closure of one of its UK sites and job cuts at another three, with the loss of 1116 jobs. Under this programme:
The Woodford site in Cheshire will close at the end of 2012, on completion of the Nimrod MRA4 production contract and with the loss of 630 jobs; 205 jobs will be lost at Samlesbury in Lancashire; 170 jobs will be lost at Warton in Lancashire; 111 jobs will be lost at Farnborough in Hampshire. It has been clear since 2003 that the Woodford site had little future beyond the end of Nimrod MRA4 production, and the workforce has been kept informed since that time. Despite strenuous efforts to achieve further Nimrod production work there has been none forthcoming. It is intended that there will be a phased run-down of the site in line with the production programme. At Samlesbury the potential job losses are in the manufacturing function and are associated with the end of Airbus work currently undertaken by BAE Systems for Spirit AeroSystems. At Warton the potential job losses are in the Manufacturing and Operations areas as work on the