Nuclear Market - as we understand
Most Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) replace fuel every 12-24 months. The fuel is stored and moved underwater; refueling can be performed only while the reactor is off-line and thus not generating power, so moving fuel faster becomes an expensive affair. However, the fuel can be damaged during movement, requiring inspection and, possibly, repair. SUPERKINO nuclear underwater lighting is used to illuminate the fuel during movement, inspection, and storage, to move fuel faster without damage.

A total of 434 NPPs were operating around the world in 1998, of which 103 are in the USA (per IAEA Power Reactor Information System data). During 1998 four new NPPs went on-line and construction began on another four, bringing the total number under construction to 36. [Three NPPs were connected to the grid in the Republic of Korea and one in the Slovak Republic; construction was begun of two new NPPs in China and one each in Taiwan and Japan.]

The operating NPPs are under tremendous pressure post Union budget 2001, to produce power at a lower cost. Some costs, e.g. the plant's mortgage, are fixed; others, e.g. those associated with the fuel cycle, can vary. Primary variable cost factors are length of outage (when the plant is generating neither electricity nor income) and outage efficiency (e.g. whether costly searches for lost parts or fuel damage inspection were necessary); both are affected by lighting.

As NPPs face increased cost-reduction pressure, purchases are scrutinised for need. However, SUPERKINO lighting products can be shown as ensuring efficient speedy fuel movement or improve work efficiency and thus have a very specific value to NPPs. For most NPPs, good lighting will pay for itself during the first refueling. A large percentage of a NPP's total shutdown cost is directly attributable to fuel handling; this operation may well be the single largest component of NPP downtime. While a lighting system can cost over $0.2M (for imported arrangements) or approx. INR 3.5M (for indigenous SUPERKINO arrangement) for a large NPP, it can decrease fuel handling time by perhaps 35%; even a one-day outage decrease will save from INR 0.2M to INR 0.9M.

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