Oct 15, 2018

Hitachi and General Electric collaborate to develop next-generation reactors

Asia
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
The Japan-based conglomerate company, Hitachi, and US-based General Electric are set to collaborate to create a new type of...

The Japan-based conglomerate company, Hitachi, and US-based General Electric are set to collaborate to create a new type of nuclear power plant with small modular reactors according to sources, The Japan Times reports.

It is thought that the two firms hope to commercialise the reactors in order enable it to be cheaper to produce and safer to operate by the 2030s.

Since the 2011 Fukushima crisis, Hitachi has been trying to expand its nuclear plant business abroad.

In a bid to reduce time and costs for the plant’s construction work, a small modular reactor can be made at a facility and brought to a power plant site.

The small modular reactors are developed to be installed underground in order to contain radioactive materials if an accident occurs despite offering a lower output.

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Hitachi has been developing boiling water reactors, which are the same type that melted down the Fukushima No.1 power plant during the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.

It is thought to cost approximately $8.9bn to build a conventional nuclear plant.

Hitachi has been aiming to create two reactors in the UK, however, are currently reviewing the project because of rising costs and are expected to make a final decision in 2019.

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May 10, 2021

Timeline: Tesla's Construction of Gigafactories

Automotive
Gigafactory
DigitalFactory
Sustainability
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Sustainable Manufacturing | Gigafactory | Electric Vehicles | EVs | Tesla | Smart Manufacturing | Automotive Manufacturing | Technology
A brief timeline of Tesla’s Gigafactory construction progress over the years, furthering its efforts in sustainable energy and electric vehicles...

Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy

Founded in 2003, Tesla was established by a group of engineers with a drive to "prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars." Almost 20 years on, Tesla today is not only manufacturing all electric vehicles, but scaleable clean energy generation and storage too. 

"Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better," says Tesla. "Electric cars, batteries, and renewable energy generation and storage already exist independently, but when combined, they become even more powerful – that’s the future we want. "

Tesla Gigafactories

In order to deliver on its promise of "accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and energy products," Tesla's Gigafactory journey began in 2014 to meet its produciton goals of 500,000 cars per year (a figure which would require the entire worlds supply of lithium-ion batteries at the time).  

By ramping up its production and bringing it in-house, the cost of Tesla 's battery cells declined "through economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimisation of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof." With this reduction in battery cost, "Tesla can make products available to more and more people, allowing us to make the biggest possible impact on transitioning the world to sustainable energy."

2014: Giga Nevada and Giga New York begin construction

Born out of necessity to meet its own supply demand for sustainable energy, Tesla began the construction of its first Gigafactory in June 2014, in Reno, Nevada, followed by its Buffalo, New York facility the same year. "By bringing cell production in-house, Tesla manufactures batteries at the volumes required to meet production goals, while creating thousands of jobs," said Tesla.

2016: Reno, Nevada grand opening

Tesla’s construction of Giga Nevada came to an end in 2016, the first of its Gigafactories to complete its construction project. The factory’s grand opening took place in July 2016, and by mid-2018 reached an annual battery production rate of 20 GWh, which made it the highest-volume battery plant in the world that year. 

2017: Giga New York begins production

Two years after Tesla’s second Gigafactory began construction, Giga New York was complete, and started its production operations in 2017.

2019: Giga Shanghai construction to production in record time

In 2019, Tesla selected Shanghai as its third Gigafactory location. The company constructed the factory in record time, taking just 168 working days from gaining permits to finishing the plant's construction.

2019: Giga Berlin begins construction

Announced in November 2019, Tesla began the construction of its first European Gigafactory in Berlin. The Gigafactory is still under construction.

2020: Giga Texas begins construction

The following year in August 2020, Tesla began the construction of its Giga Texas factory. The company’s third Gigafactory in the US is still under construction.

2021: Giga Texas and Giga Berlin expected completion of construction

Looking to the future, Tesla expects to complete the construction of its Giga Texas and Giga Berlin factories in May 2021 and July 2021 respectively.

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