February 17, 2020

Framatome to implement first full-scale safety-related digital protective relay upgrade at a US nuclear power plant

Framatome recently signed a contract to complete the first large-scale digital upgrade to the existing safety- and non-safety-related electromechanical protective relays at a U.S. nuclear power plant. Protective relays are devices designed to detect undesirable electrical conditions and initiate one or more actions to protect electrical distribution assets and associated equipment.

The transition from electromechanical to modern numerical protection relay technology for electrical distribution systems supports the renewal of nuclear power plants’ operating licenses and allows utilities to increase their plants’ flexibility and reduce life-cycle costs.

“Our team at Framatome is committed to providing innovative solutions that support the long-term operation of the North American nuclear fleet,” said Craig Ranson, senior vice president of Framatome’s Installed Base Business Unit in North America. “These advancements are vital to ensure that nuclear power plants continue to provide reliable, carbon-free electricity to homes and businesses across the country.”

By the end of 2022, Framatome will supply the engineering, design, qualification, fabrication, commercial-grade dedication, testing, documentation and delivery of new medium voltage vacuum roll-in replacement breakers, numerical protection relays and front door relay panels.

Framatome will also provide its Maintenance Interval and Life Extension Solutions (MILES) certification on the replacement breakers. This certification extends the preventative maintenance interval for the circuit breakers to 14 years and is backed by the industry’s first comprehensive program to demonstrate long-term breaker reliability through testing, evaluation and the use of enhanced breaker components.