Framatome buying steam generator tubing firm to strengthen nuclear O&M

Nuclear power infrastructure firm Framatome is acquiring a fellow French-based components firm to bolster its work at keeping existing plants in top form.

Framatome announced the deal to buy Valinox Nucléaire SAS from Vallourec Group, which specializes in the production of seamless steam generator tubes for nuclear power plants. The company believes this deal solidifies its position in meeting challenges to maintain the French nuclear energy fleet.

“This acquisition strengthens our strategy to ensure the continuity of a strong skill base and industrial expertise in the production of components for all types of nuclear reactors,” said Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome. “We are committed to serving our customers with solutions that enhance the reliability and competitiveness of low-carbon electricity generation in nuclear power plants in France and around the world.”

The seamless steam generator tubes represent the only interface between the primary and secondary systems in pressurized water reactors. The tubes transfer heat from the reactor to the secondary loop to produce steam that drives a high-power turbine to generate electricity.

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“We are pleased to welcome Valinox employees and integrate their skills within Framatome’s high-performing teams,” said Carole le Couedic, senior vice president, components operation of the Fuel Business Unit at Framatome and president of the new subsidiary. “The company’s proven expertise and reputation are major assets that complement Framatome’s production supply chain and our ability to meet our customers’ needs.”

The company’s 95,000-square-meter metallurgical workshops are located in Montbard, Burgundy. This region is known for its expertise in mechanical engineering for the nuclear industry and is home to several Framatome plants.

Framatome is owned by the EDF Energy Group, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Assystem. French-owned EDF, which is overseeing several nuclear power plant new-builds in the UK, is majority owner.

The nuclear power plant sector is considering forward with small modular reactor technologies which offer the potential for smaller footprints and costs. France fuels about 70 percent of its electricity from nuclear reactors.

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