July 18, 2018

Manufacturing operations are ramping up at Framatome Le Creusot site

The Framatome Le Creusot site will provide the main forged components for nuclear new build projects internationally well as parts for replacement components to equip French reactors.

Supported by the implementation of the improvement plan launched over two years ago, the site is now able to execute this workload, with safety and quality being the top priorities, along with the strengthening of teams and skills, and investments in the production tool.

Framatome's ambition: position Le Creusot site as a center of excellence for the nuclear industry

David Emond, Executive Vice President of Framatome's Components BU, commented: "Framatome's ambition is to confirm the status of the Le Creusot site as a world benchmark for forgings specifically devoted to serving nuclear industry needs. The work we have accomplished at the Le Creusot site on overhauling the quality assurance system is raising trust levels among our customers and nuclear safety authorities. The Le Creusot site is working on projects of prime importance for the nuclear industry, and this is thanks to the ongoing mobilization of the teams - who I thank for their diligent commitment to safety, quality and the satisfaction of our customers."

To accompany the ramp up in production, the Framatome Le Creusot site, which has 230 employees currently, recruited 28 people in 2017 and will integrate 40 people this year. A new investment plan of €11 million is underway for 2018 and is following investments already made at the production site. This equates to a total of 35 projects covering all sectors of the plant, including the renewal of machining units, the improvement of quenching process equipment, and reliability improvements to the 11,300 tonne press.

With its Factory of the Future project, Framatome is equipping the site with digital applications to make data acquisition more reliable and improve traceability during forging operations. In addition, teams are working on an R&D program to develop new technical forging processes.

Major milestone reached in the review of Le Creusot site's manufacturing records

In parallel, the review conducted of Le Creusot's manufacturing records has just reached a major milestone. Framatome's teams have completed the job of identifying and characterizing deviations in all of the manufacturing records for forgings installed on reactors in France. A total of 1,925 records have been analyzed. Analyses at this stage confirm that none of the deviations examined are questioning the serviceability of components delivered to EDF.

By September 2018, the summary reports for all French reactors will have been submitted to ASN. Further to examination by ASN of the reports submitted to date, the French safety authority has given its consent for the restart of 31 reactors.

David Emond notes: "Thanks to the integrity, the professionalism, and the attention to detail displayed by the Framatome teams, we have been able to examine the records, one by one, to the requisite quality and timeframe, and with keen consideration for nuclear fleet operating challenges faced by our customer EDF."