“Framatome’s long-standing relationship with TVA is the result of our U.S. and global teams’ expertise and commitment to delivering excellence in everything they do,” said Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome. “We are pleased to expand our cooperation with TVA and support them in providing efficient, reliable and low-carbon electricity to residents and businesses across the Tennessee Valley.”
Framatome will provide its state-of-the-art ATRIUM 11 fuel for the three boiling water reactors at Browns Ferry with the first use planned for 2023. This contract makes TVA the third U.S. utility to switch to the ATRIUM 11 fuel design.
ATRIUM 11 helps utilities to save money by using the uranium in nuclear fuel more efficiently. The fuel also allows operators to run their plants with more flexibility as demand fluctuates and other generation sources provide power to the electric grid. Framatome’s fuel fabrication facility, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, in Richland, Washington, will manufacture the fuel.
Framatome will also upgrade the fuel handling equipment at the Browns Ferry, Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants on an accelerated schedule, saving the plants both time and money.
This work includes upgrading the refuel bridges at Browns Ferry, the manipulator cranes at both Sequoyah units and Watts Bar Unit 1, and the fuel transfer systems at Watts Bar. Framatome previously upgraded the fuel transfer systems at Sequoyah. The company will also replace the spent fuel bridges at Sequoyah and Watts Bar.
Additionally, SGT, a joint venture between Framatome and AECOM, will replace four steam generators at Watts Bar Unit 2. In a nuclear energy plant, the steam generator has an essential role in producing electricity. It converts water into steam using the heat created in the reactor core. This steam drives the turbines that generate electricity.
TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is home to three boiling water reactors. Both the Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants have two pressurized water reactors. Collectively, these plants generate enough electricity to power more than 4.5 million homes and businesses.