Interview with Dr. Vivek Lall
Ongoing global efforts to curb carbon emissions will continue to make nuclear power a viable option for power generation
Hardnews Bureau Delhi
General Atomics is an advanced technology company with 60 years of experience developing innovative, real-world systems for challenging defense and energy applications. General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems is a world leader in the design and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and pulsed power systems, such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the electromagnetic railgun. But the increasing footprint of their technologically advanced commercial products globally is growing fast.
We are aware General Atomics has a strong potential for Commercial products worldwide. Could you elaborate on where you see the opportunities globally?
General Atomics is on the forefront of delivering advanced technologies to meet the escalating power demands for tomorrow’s systems. We are leveraging our expertise and applying it to industries such as nuclear, oil/gas, energy, waste water and mining, where more reliable and efficient technologies are in demand to help improve profit margins and ease maintenance.
General Atomics is uniquely positioned with an expanding portfolio of technologies, products and services, to offer customers worldwide customizable solutions suitable for wide variety of demanding applications and environments.
In India, we have several new nuclear reactors coming up. What expertise and products can you bring to India in the future?
With 60-years of experience developing nuclear energy technologies, General Atomics is a recognized global leader in the design and manufacture of radiation monitoring and detection systems. Our systems comply with IAEA requirements and have an unsurpassed reputation for quality, reliability, and ease of maintenance. Our flexible, modular designs are unmatched in satisfying customer requirements and exceed industry standards for conformance to safety and non-safety regulatory requirements.
To date, General Atomics has systems operating in over 120 nuclear power plants and storage facilities worldwide and is presently supplying all of the radiation monitors for five new nuclear power plants currently under construction in the United States.
Do you see an increase in demand for nuclear reactor technologies globally?
Ongoing global efforts to curb carbon emissions will continue to make nuclear power a viable option for power generation. Utilities and governments are always seeking more efficient, safe and cost effective means to produce a megawatt of power. Technology advancements, including fuel rod enhancements, reuse of spent fuel rods, small modular reactors, and the latest research into Thorium reactors, can potentially drive demand if they can be offered at price points the market can bear.
What is the technology roadmap for your products in the nuclear domain?
General Atomics remains focused on advancing our flexible, modular radiation monitoring and detection systems that lead the industry in reliability and safety. We will continue to develop monitors that meet new plant requirements as well provide existing facilities with an upgrade path to extend the life of legacy designs. We are committed to the long term support of our customers, providing new technologies, products and services to keep plants safely on line.
How is your business positioned to help in the Oil and Gas industry?
The company has a 35-year history supporting the oil and gas industry, providing unique, modular Gulftronic™ Electrostatic Separator systems that help refineries worldwide create more marketable, higher value products to improve revenue opportunities by clarifying slurry oil, often considered a waste by-product. Our highly efficient, patented technology is gaining traction with refineries looking for ways to maximize yields and profits, while reducing maintenance costs associated with less effective mechanical systems and hazardous waste disposal.
Two of General Atomics largest Gulftronic units have been running in India. The first unit was installed in the 1990’s, and the second in the mid 2000's. In 2014, General Atomics was awarded a contract to install a Gulftronic system at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited's (BPCL) Kochi refinery.
We also see new opportunities to apply our direct drive compressor motors, modular high frequency power drives, and terminal automation products to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry. Our innovative technologies harness electric power to provide the highest degree of performance and reliability to help customers improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.