The Paimboeuf site pilgers zirconium bars originating from the Ugine site to manufacture endplug barstock.
Pilgering of barstock, cladding tubes and guide tubes
As a key contributor to the industrial supply change for tube manufacturing, the Paimboeuf plant mainly receives TREXs from the Montreuil-Juigné site and delivers finished products to Framatome nuclear fuel fabrication sites and external fuel customers.
The Paimboeuf site’s main activities take place in two facilities:
- The Chemical Thermal and Pilgering facility which rolls tubes and bars before they undergo chemical and heat treatment.
- The Finishing and Control Lab (FCL), which performs the finishing and inspection operations of guide tubes, cladding tubes and the endplug barstock.
Main stages of the fabrication process
Transformation operations performed on the Paimboeuf site include pilgering, chemical and thermal treatment, finishing and inspection. Surface treatments require the use of chemical products like hydrofluoric and nitric acid.
Products manufactured at the Paimboeuf site
Cladding tubes: thin tubes designed to contain uranium pellets and facilitate the transfer of heat to the nuclear reactor water.
Guide tubes: they are distinct from cladding tubes and serve a dual purpose: they form the structure of fuel assemblies and enable the insertion of control rods into into fuel assemblies during operation to regulate the fission reaction.
Endplug barstock: zirconium bars designed to be cut and processed in the manufacture of rod endplugs, which are subsequently welded to both ends of the cladding tubes containing uranium pellets. The endplugs, tube and pellets combine to form a fuel rod.
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