February 21, 2019

US: Framatome signs first fuel contract with the Palo Verde Generating Station

Framatome has signed a contract to provide fuel fabrication and related services to Unit 2 at Palo Verde Generating Station near Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona Public Service (APS) operates and owns 29.1 percent of Palo Verde, the largest power producer in the U.S. The first reload of Framatome fuel will be delivered in the spring of 2020.

This is the first time Framatome will supply full reload quantities of fuel to Palo Verde, a plant originally designed by Combustion Engineering. Palo Verde will use Framatome’s Advanced CE16 HTP fuel design. Previously, Framatome supplied eight Lead Test Assemblies to Palo Verde in 2008.

“A reliable fuel supply is a critical factor in the efficient operation of nuclear reactors. We are proud that Palo Verde selected Framatome to fuel one of its three reactors to help ensure security of supply,” said Ala Alzaben, senior vice president for the Fuel Commercial and Customer Center at Framatome. “This contract recognizes the quality of our products, the reliability of our staff to provide exceptional service to our customers and the strength of our supply chain.”

As the operating agent of Palo Verde, APS recently achieved an important milestone by completing and submitting the License Amendment Request (LAR) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to request approval to use Framatome’s fuel in reload quantities at Palo Verde. The initial reload from Framatome is planned for Unit 2 in the spring of 2020.

Framatome will build the fuel assemblies for Palo Verde at its U.S.-based fuel manufacturing facility in Richland, Washington. Framatome will also provide fuel engineering support services from its U.S. headquarters in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Framatome’s Fuel Business Unit develops, designs, licenses and fabricates fuel assemblies and core components for pressurized water, boiling water and research reactors.

The Palo Verde Generating Station’s three pressurized water reactors, each with a net capacity to produce 1,411megawatts of electricity, provide more than 70 percent of Arizona’s clean air energy. Being the only U.S. nuclear plant not located on a body of water, Palo Verde Generating Station recycles municipal wastewater from Phoenix to cool the plant. Each year, the plant provides enough power to meet the needs of more than 4 million people across four states.