Article

Framatome’s steam generator replacement expertise supports long-term operations in Canada

August 11, 2021 | 2 min |
Category: installed base
Steam generator replacements were a hot topic and in high demand in the U.S. during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Utilities across the country contracted with the Steam Generating Team (SGT), a partnership between Framatome and United Engineers & Constructors, to implement their large component replacement projects. Over 25 years, SGT replaced steam generators at 24 units, nine reactor vessel closure heads and one pressurizer. As the need for these replacements slowed down in the U.S., new opportunities emerged in Canada.

With regulatory approval to pursue life extension programs for the Canadian operating fleet, utility customers defined nuclear refurbishment projects to extend the operating life of their plants. In 2017, the Steam Generator Replacement Team (SGRT), a joint venture between SGT and Aecon, contracted with Bruce Power to replace steam generators at Unit 6 of the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station.

SGRT also signed a long-term Preferred Supplier Agreement that defined a structure for contracting steam generator replacements at the plant’s remaining five units as part of its Major Component Replacement (MCR) Project. This arrangement positioned SGRT as Bruce Power’s long-term strategic partner through 2032, offering the customer deep bench-strength of experience, certainty of supply, innovation, and technology advancements, along with an established long-term presence in the Bruce Power community.

Major outage ongoing at Bruce Power Unit 6

The refurbishment contract for Unit 6 includes the removal of eight original steam generators and the installation of the replacement steam generators with related plant modifications. Project engineering and planning began in March 2017 and the replacement work is currently underway. 

Additionally, SGRT completed the design phase for the second unit (Unit 3) at the Bruce Power site planned to undergo refurbishment.

“One of the biggest challenges the project team faces to date is the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Curtis Van Cleve, president of Framatome Canada Ltd. “When it comes to a large-scale project like a steam generator replacement, there’s a long-term and robust schedule with key milestones and deliverables for both the project team and for the customer. It has been challenging to maintain the implementation schedule as we deal with COVID-19 restrictions. Our access to the customer site and to our own facilities and colleagues that support us remotely is limited. The project team has done an excellent job of maintaining high-quality execution to overcome these challenges.”

A new contract for Units 3 and 4

SGRT recently contracted with Bruce Power to replace steam generators at Units 3 and 4.

This win directly results from the solid delivery of engineering and implementation work on Unit 6 by all parties involved in SGRT. It is a testament to the commitment of these teams in the face of the challenges presented this past year. These teams persevered and worked closely with the customer to ensure the continued operational excellence of this groundbreaking project. Further collaborations are expected to enhance the long-term operations of the Canadian nuclear fleet.
 
Proven expertise on all types of technologies

Framatome employees in Canada worked diligently over the past few years to expand services in the Canadian nuclear market, showcasing not only “conventional” offerings like outage services and high-voltage work but also core competencies that haven’t typically been performed in Canada.

The multi-unit Bruce Power MCR Project is extremely important to Framatome and to SGRT. Framatome replaced various steam generator designs in the U.S. and Europe and now adds the first CANDU reactor to its portfolio of expertise. As Framatome and its partners continue to execute replacements at the remaining Bruce Power units, they will build on lessons learned and enhance performance with each subsequent replacement.


 

 

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%).