The Watts Bar nuclear power station. Photo courtesy TVA. US utility Tennessee Valley Authority awarded France’s Framatome several multimillion-dollar contracts for work on the company’s nuclear plants including fuel for Browns Ferry, steam generator replacements at Watts Bar and fuel handling equipment upgrades across the fleet.

Framatome will provide its Atrium 11 fuel for the three boiling water reactors at Browns Ferry with the first use planned for 2023. TVA will become the third US utility to switch to the Atrium 11 fuel design.

According to Framatome, Atrium 11 helps utilities 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. The fuel will be fabricated at Framatome’s fuel fabrication facility in Richland, Washington.

Framatome will also upgrade fuel handling equipment at the Browns Ferry, Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear stations. This work includes upgrading the refuel bridges at Browns Ferry, the manipulator cranes at both Sequoyah units and Watts Bar-1, and the fuel transfer systems at Watts Bar. The company will also replace the spent fuel bridges at Sequoyah and Watts Bar.

SGT, a joint venture between Framatome and Los Angeles-based Aecom, will replace four steam generators at Watts Bar-2.

TVA operates three nuclear power stations: Browns Ferry in Alabama and Sequoyah and Watts Bar in Tennessee. Between them the stations have seven units in commercial operation.

Date: Thursday, 06 February 2020
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