June 11, 2021

Framatome congratulates nuclear innovation award recipients

June 11, 2021 – Framatome congratulates the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant 1 and Duke Energy for their Top Innovative Practice (TIP) Awards. The award winners were recognized alongside other industry innovators on June 7 during the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) Nuclear Energy Assembly.

NEI recognized the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant 1, operated by Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, with a TIP Award for the plant’s implementation of Framatome’s bottom-up thermal sleeve replacement technology. Additionally, Framatome recognized Duke Energy with its Vendor Award for the utility’s deployment of an innovative ultrasonic testing tool system to inspect baffle-to-former bolts at the Oconee Nuclear Station.

“Innovative replacement and testing technologies are crucial to ensure today’s reactors continue to provide reliable, carbon-free electricity to meet national and global clean energy goals,” said Frédéric Lelièvre, senior executive vice president of Sales, Regional Platforms and Instrumentation and Control at Framatome. “Our Framatome team in the U.S. is proud to partner with the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant 1 and Duke Energy, and our entire global team congratulates them on their awards.”

When personnel at the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant 1 identified thermal sleeves in need of replacement, they worked with Framatome experts to deploy the new bottom-up thermal sleeve replacement technology. Wear on these sleeves can prevent control rod drive mechanisms from inserting control rods into the reactor core. In contrast with previous approaches to thermal sleeve replacements, Framatome’s new method did not require disassembling major components and structures or removing the control rod drive mechanisms, resulting in significant cost and schedule improvements.

The Framatome team performed the thermal sleeve replacements while working through multiple typhoons and under pandemic restrictions, which included completing a 14-day quarantine and abiding by strict health and safety measures. Due to its unique expertise and innovative solutions, the team brought the plant back online on time with no safety or quality issues.

At the Oconee Nuclear Station, Duke Energy worked with Framatome to deploy an ultrasonic testing tool system to inspect and evaluate reactor vessel internals bolting, a process that is critical to confirm the integrity of these components. The new system inspected the baffle-to-former bolts and provided faster, more accurate results. Coupled with an enhanced probabilistic analysis package called Rosetta, this approach positioned the station to save critical path outage hours.