January 25, 2018

Framatome continues ramping up production at its Le Creusot site

On January 25, 2018, Framatome received the green light from the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and EDF to resume manufacture of forgings for the French nuclear fleet at its Le Creusot site. This decision allows the plant to continue ramping up its production with a target of 80 ingots per year.

The authorization is an outcome of the improvement plan launched at the beginning of 2016 on the site following a series of quality audits. With the completion of all the actions necessary for the resumption of production for the French nuclear fleet and overall progress of 90% to date, the plan will be fully closed out in the first half of 2018. The actions will then be incorporated into the site's continuous improvement processes. Customers in France and abroad, as well as all the safety authorities concerned, have been kept regularly informed of the actions undertaken. Numerous reviews and inspections have been conducted in order to observe the progress of the plan and integrate stakeholders’ feedback.

David Emond, Senior Executive Vice President of Framatome's Component Manufacturing Business Unit, comments: "The authorization to resume manufacture of forgings for the French nuclear fleet is a very good news for the site that confirms the successful execution of its improvement plan. The 230 employees at the Le Creusot site are engaged in its deployment on a day to day basis so that we can supply our customers with equipment meeting the most stringent safety and quality requirements within agreed deadlines. I want to thank them for the substantial work they have accomplished on the site over the last two years."

Maintaining and developing the skills of the Le Creusot plant teams is a key element of the site's improvement plan, with a particular focus on strengthening the nuclear safety culture.

Framatome already invested 7.5 million euros at the site in 2017 to make the Le Creusot site a center of excellence for the manufacture of forgings for the nuclear industry, and will pursue this effort in 2018.

Major milestone reached in review of manufacturing records

Moreover, a major milestone has been reached in the review of legacy manufacturing records at the Le Creusot site. The first stage in the inspection process which is being applied to all records relating to forgings produced for the nuclear industry, a key stage consisting in identifying findings, is now complete. The analysis of these findings and the processing of deviations will continue until the end of 2018, in coordination with customers and safety authorities.

Of the 6,000 records identified during the initial survey, 3,854 correspond to forgings installed on nuclear installations.

At Framatome's Jeumont and Saint-Marcel sites, the audit has been finalized since the summer of 2017 and no deviation impacting the safety of components has been brought to light.