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Framatome offers a range of high-performance enriched natural uranium assemblies for all types of reactors: the guarantee of a secure turnkey supply. With solutions that provide a flexible fuel cycle, we provide options for Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) and Pressurized Water reactors (PWR) as well as incore components and core monitoring.

For more than four decades, Framatome’s fuel assemblies have powered the growth of nuclear energy around the world, providing the highest performance, cost-competitiveness, and reliability. Backed by the global resources and by proven domestic success, our fuel designs provide effective solutions to current and anticipated demands for high reactor core performance and reliability. The advanced fuels feature superior debris protection, high resistance to corrosion, and fuel rod and structure designs for 18 to 24 month fuel cycles.

  • BWR

    ATRIUM™ 11 for BWR Fuel

    The 11 x 11 fuel rod array directly leads to a significant reduction of the linear heat generation rate (LHGR) providing:

    • Margins for extended power uprate
    • Margins for increased fuel rod burnup
    • Margins regarding reliability (e.g. PCI, Crud)
    • Margins for incore fuel management
    • Flexibility for load follow

    In addition, a more balanced moderator-to-fuel distribution results in better fuel utilization.

    Framatome's next generation BWR product brings enhancements to the proven ATRIUM™ principle and combines these with the inherent advantages of an 11 x 11 array.

    ATRIUM™ 11 is the most recent member of Framatome's ATRIUM™ family. It is based on the ATRIUM™ principle of a quadratic water channel replacing 9 fuel rods that serves as the load bearing structure. The number of PLFRs is increased to 20 with two different lengths.

    Particular attention has been paid to reliability and robustness by enhanced features like:

    • 3rd Generation FUELGUARD™ filter for maximum debris resistance
    • Nine Alloy 718 ULTRAFLOW™ spacers with integrated springs for robustness and reduced susceptibility to debris entrapment
    • Fuel channel made of controlled beta-quenched Zry-BWR for better dimensional stability

    ATRIUM™ 10XM for BWR Fuel

    Flawless operation. Higher capacity factors. Efficient fuel utilization. Framatome knows what BWR operators expect from their fuel and has invested the energy needed to provide customers with safe, reliable and dependable fuel. The ATRIUM™ 10XM advanced BWR fuel has been designed to improve both the fuel efficiency and operating flexibility required to meet power production needs.

    The superior performance of the ATRIUM™ 10XM design has already been demonstrated by reliable operation of more than 2000 fuel assemblies in European reactors since 2002 and is based on the proven supply and operation of over 20,000 ATRIUM™ 10x10 fuel assemblies. Framatome's refined manufacturing processes, such as our Lean Rod-to-Bundle Flow and Rigorous Foreign Material Exclusion Program, ensures that each ATRIUM™ 10XM fuel assembly meets specifications to the highest standards of control, accuracy and cleanliness. And due to its increased fuel mass and superior critical power performance, the ATRIUM™ 10XM design delivers significant fuel cycle cost savings in 18-month to 24-month cycles and uprate conditions while maintaining the proven reliability of the current ATRIUM™ 10 product line.

  • PWR

    GAIA Fuel Assembly — Maximum Fuel Robustness, Performance and Reliability

    To shoulder the demands of PWR utilities in fuel assembly performance while ensuring maximum robustness, Framatome has developed the GAIA PWR fuel assembly design. It is the result of a worldwide Framatome R&D project, which focused on reliability, robustness and thermal margin.

    GAIA Structural Mixing Spacer Grid Combines Reliability and Robustness of HTP with Increased Thermal Performance

    The GAIA structural mixing vane spacer grid ensures high fretting resistance, low pressure drop and high handling capability and provides excellent Critical Heat Flux (CHF) performance considering its superior mechanical performance.

    • Fuel rod stability is provided by 8-line contact spring confi guration to ensure the GAIA design platform inherits the outstanding grid-to-rod fretting resistance of the proven HTP™ spacer grid design.

    • Mixing vanes provide very efficient fluid mixing for demanding fuel management operating conditions and can support power up-rates.

    • Outer strap design and the M5® material provide dimensional stability without risk of excessive fuel assembly interaction during core loading / unloading operations.

    • Intrinsic design provides the GAIA spacer grid with high mechanical strength and a favorable deformation mode under accident-induced
    lateral loads.

    Read More about the features of the GAIA Fuel Assembly >>

    Features and Benefits

    Optimized for a balance in Neutronic, Mechanical and Thermal Performance, the GAIA offers:

    • Maximum robustness against distortion and seismic issues with Q12™ material and MONOBLOC™ welded structure

    • Increased thermal hydraulic performance with GAIA mixing grids and IGMs

    • First-class fuel reliability with 8-line contact GAIA grid, HMP end grids to protect against fretting and the high fi ltering efficiency of GRIP™

    • Superior performance under accident conditions with Alloy M5® and Cr-doped fuel

    • High burnup capability based on an extensive global irradiation and testing database

  • Incore Components

    Fixed Incore Monitoring System

    Framatome's fixed incore detector system provides operators with the ability to enhance reactor operation through continuous, real-time monitoring of actual core conditions in B&W, Westinghouse, and Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors with a simple and reliable monitoring system. Through 24-hour monitoring, operators re provided an on-line assessment of actual core safety limits with a real-time display. This increases the overall guidance available to operators and improves the ability to navigate transient conditions and to detect and diagnose core anomalies.

    Compared to movable incore detector systems, which acquire only periodic “snapshot” power distributions, fixed incore detector systems, with full-time monitoring, can expand the allowable operating window and improve reactor operating margin. The continuous monitoring feature of the Framatome fixed incore system allows utilities to safely operate closer to reactor limits, providing a 10- to 15-percent increase in operating margin in some plants.

    HARMONI™ Rod Cluster Control Assemblies

    Framatome Control Components Deliver Outstanding Performance
    For more than 35 years, Framatome has been designing and fabricating control components for pressurized water reactors. Our long-life and wear-resistant designs are well-recognized for their outstanding operating performance in Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), Combustion Engineering (CE) and Westinghouse-type reactors. HARMONI™ replacement rod cluster control assemblies (RCCAs) are fully compatible with Westinghouse fuel and reactor mating components. In addition, Framatome engineering support can help meet utilities’ specific requirements.

    Ion-Nitride Enhances Resistance to Wear
    Laboratory Testing
    In the early stages of developing a wear-resistant RCCA, we performed sliding wear tests to determine the best wear treatment. These tests were conducted in the Frotteau Test Loop in France on Ion-Nitride tubes, Chrome Carbide-coated tubes, Armoloy-coated tubes (both 0.3 mils and 0.6 mils thickness) and uncoated stainless steel tubes. The tests confirmed that Ion-Nitride provided the best wear protection for both the RCCA and guide card, extending RCCA life.

  • Core Monitoring

    Core Monitoring Systems

    Unsurpassed and proven core monitoring flexibility.

    Whether the plant is a BWR or PWR with fixed incore or moveable detectors, Framatome offers core monitoring solutions tailored to meet specific needs. Framatome's POWERPLEX-III system is available for demanding BWR core monitoring, including capabilities for on-line cladding stress monitoring. For PWRs, the POWERTRAXand the POWERTRAX system is available for both Westinghouse (W) and Combustion Engineering (CE) designed core monitoring, and the Fixed Incore Detector Monitoring System (FIDMS) is available for B&W core monitoring.

    POWERPLEX® III BWR Core Monitoring Software

    With more than 25 years of successful operation and experience in 18 BWRs, Framatome’s POWERPLEX system provides superior reliability and accuracy in core monitoring. The POWERPLEX Core Monitoring Software System (CMSS) enhances the operating efficiency of boiling water reactors (BWRs). We developed POWERPLEX III to be the newest generation in this industry-leading monitoring system. POWERPLEX III is operating at 13 BWRs, and new installations are planned at several other BWRs.

    This has recently been upgraded with the option to monitor cladding stress with our XEDOR methodology.

    FIDMS PWR Core Monitoring System

    Framatome's FIDMS core monitoring system continues in the tradition of our successful POWERPLEX system for BWRs and POWERTRAX system for PWRs. The FIDMS system is a comprehensive system designed to assist reactor personnel in performing core monitoring and other required reactor operational calculations. FIDMS provides the utility with automatic on-line core follow calculations that gives operators an instant assessment of real-time core safety limits. The system uses frequent on-line core follow calculations to track past and present plant operation and predict future requirements for full and partial power maneuvering along with required technical specification calculations for Shutdown Margin and Estimated Critical Conditions.

    POWERTRAX PWR Core Monitoring System

    Framatome’s POWERTRAX core monitoring system keeps tabs on core performance — past, present and future — giving the big picture for the plant while eliminating big hassles. Building upon the tradition of our successful POWERPLEX system for BWRs, POWERTRAX has enhanced the reliability and efficiency of PWR plants for the last 15 years by successfully keeping worries at bay and plants on the grid.

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