Framatome awarded Ringhals modernisation contracts

11 May 2023

Framatome has been awarded contracts by Sweden's Vattenfall to update reactor control systems using its digital instrumentation and control (I&C) TELEPERM XS platform and refurbish the reactor coolant pumps for units 3 and 4 of the Ringhals nuclear power plant. The value of the contracts was not disclosed.

The four-unit Ringhals plant in western Sweden (Image: Vattenfall)

Framatome will modernise the plant's reactor control system using its TELEPERM XS digital I&C platform. The modernisation also includes the upgrade of the Nuclear Safety and Training (Kärnkraftsäkerhet och Utbildning, KSU) simulator at Ringhals. Prior to installation, the equipment will be jointly tested with Vattenfall at KSU Simulator premises. The new reactor control system will be installed and commissioned in 2026 for unit 3 and in 2027 for unit 4.

In addition to the control system upgrades, Framatome will also refurbish six reactor coolant pumps (RCPs). Within the primary loop, RCPs are fundamental to the safety and efficiency of nuclear power plants. Framatome has manufactured, maintained and repaired these components for decades from its Jeumont and Maubeuge industrial facilities in northern France.

The RCP internals and motors will be transported to Maubeuge, where they will be inspected and refurbished, including the installation of new stators and the replacement of thermal barrier covers. The refurbished elements will then be shipped back to Sweden to progressively replace the current operating equipment between 2025 and 2031.

"Framatome's continued dedication to extending the life of critical nuclear facilities is a core focus of our mission," said Framatome CEO Bernard Fontana. "Today's agreement is a step forward in strengthening our long-standing relationship with Vattenfall and our commitment to support the continued operations of safe, economical, reliable and low carbon electricity generation at Ringhals."

Ringhals 3 - a 1062 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR) - and Ringhals 4 - a 1117 MWe PWR - were commissioned in 1981 and 1983, respectively. Vattenfall is planning to extend operation of both units for a total operational lifetime of 60 years each.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News