The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has awarded Framatome several multimillion dollar contracts for work across the company's reactor fleet. The contracts include fuel for the Browns Ferry nuclear plant, fuel handling equipment upgrades across the fleet and steam generator replacements at the Watts Bar plant.
The contract to provide Framatome's Atrium 11 fuel for the three boiling water reactors at Browns Ferry, with the first use planned for 2023, makes TVA the third US utility to switch to this fuel design, Framatome said. The fuel, which will be manufactured in Framatome's facility in Richland, Washington, allows operators to run their plants with more flexibility as demand fluctuates and other generation sources provide power to the electric grid, and also helps utilities to save money by using the uranium in nuclear fuel more efficiently, the company said.
Work to upgrade fuel handling equipment at the Browns Ferry, Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants will include upgrading the refuel bridges at Browns Ferry, the manipulator cranes at both Sequoyah units and Watts Bar unit 1, and the fuel transfer systems at Watts Bar. Framatome previously upgraded the fuel transfer systems at Sequoyah. The company will also replace used fuel bridges at Sequoyah and Watts Bar.
SGT, a joint venture between Framatome and AECOM, will replace four steam generators at Watts Bar unit 2. The 1165 MWe (net) pressurised water reactor entered commercial operation in 2016, following the resumption in 2007 of construction after a 22-year hiatus. TVA said in 2017 that replacement of Watts Bar 2's steam generators would allow the unit to operate more efficiently. At that time, it said it would replace all four of the unit's steam generators during a scheduled outage between 2018 and 2024 and that steam generator replacement would occur during the following outage where an inspection indicates the tubes are becoming 15% clogged.