Framatome invests in Ugine nuclear alloy plant

11 April 2019

Framatome has upgraded its Ugine nuclear alloy plant with an additional EUR 12.6 million (USD14.2 million) vacuum arc remelting furnace. Metal alloys made at Ugine are manufactured into components used in reactor cores around the world.

Extruded billets of zirconium alloy (Image: Framatome)

The French reactor and fuel company Framatome said the 'state-of-the-art' facility was inaugurated yesterday. The four year project to build the furnace and its control building had been 'a major test' for the site and the project team of 11, most of whom came from Ugine. The team was honoured at an official inauguration ceremony yesterday including elected representatives of the region.

Described by Framatome as the 'heart' of the facility, the vacuum arc remelter, passes enormous electric currents through metals in order to produce alloys, which are mixtures of two different metals. The factory's 2500 tonne press then produces zirconium and titanium alloy items including billets, forged bars and extruded blanks which are semi-finished on site before going elsewhere to be made into reactor components and fuel assemblies used in reactors in France and around the world.

Ugine has population of about 7000 and lies about 75 km northeast of Grenoble in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News