Press Release

Framatome unveils new hot rolling machine at its Rugles factory

November 26, 2019 | 1 min |
Category: fuel
Nov. 26, 2019 – Framatome unveiled its new hot rolling machine during the inauguration of the newly built ELAN workshop located at its Rugles factory in Normandy, France. This machine rolls and flattens large pieces of zirconium to create pieces of sheet metal that become components in fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants.

“Framatome’s ELAN workshop at the Rugles factory is home to the new hot rolling machine, which is the only system of its type in Europe and one of only a few in the world that can produce the type of sheet metal needed for fuel assemblies in nuclear power plants,” said Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome. “Our investments in Rugles represent €22 million in capital improvements, allowing us to strengthen our performance in terms of quality, delivery and costs when it comes to producing harder metal raw materials for our customers.”

The Rugles factory receives large pieces of zirconium, called billets, from the Framatome site at Ugine in Savoie, France. Those billets are 12 to 16 centimeters thick. The hot rolling machine exposes the billets to temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius and a pressure of up to 1,500 tons to flatten them into sheets as thin as 3 millimeters. The resulting pieces of sheet metal then go through additional processing to turn them into grids and casings for nuclear fuel assemblies.

The new hot rolling machine weighs about 90 tons and is 4 meters tall. TS Plzeň manufactured the machine in the Czech Republic.

Framatome invests approximately €3 million in its Rugles factory each year to modernize its facilities and manufacturing processes for the future.
De gauche à droite : Mr Ceznek, Mr Fontana, Mr Prudhon, Mr Drulak et Mr Martorana
From left to right: Mr Ceznek, Mr Fontana, Mr Prudhon, Mr Drulak et Mr Martorana


About Framatome

Framatome is an international leader in nuclear energy recognized for its innovative solutions and value added technologies for the global nuclear fleet. With worldwide expertise and a proven track record for reliability and performance, the company designs, services and installs components, fuel, and instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power plants. Its more than 14,000 employees work every day to help Framatome’s customers supply ever cleaner, safer and more economical low-carbon energy.

Framatome is owned by the EDF Group (75.5%), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI – 19.5%) and Assystem (5%).