French nuclear services group Framatome said Thursday that it had been awarded a contract to perform a specialized reactor vessel mitigation technique on four United States nuclear power plants.
The technique is called cavitation peening a process designed to extend the operating life of reactor vessels by protecting them against corrosion.
Cavitation peeing is a surface mitigation solution applied to prevent corrosion crack initiation without harming any reactor components. Effectiveness is enhanced by using a process at higher pressure, allowing for a greater depth of compression. This “allows for a more efficient overall implementation schedule,” Framatome said.
“Nuclear operators can clearly see the value in using cavitation peening to protect a plant’s reactor vessel and ensure long-term operations,” said Catherine Cormand, senior executive vice president of Framatome’s Installed Base Business Unit.
Framatome noted that its cavitation peening process works without removing or modifying thermal sleeves. This allows the team to perform the technique more safely and efficiently.
This is Framatome’s seventh deployment of reactor vessel head peening since 2016. Operators can expect shorter shutdowns with this process, as compared to comparative replacement or repair.
The contract, which was awarded in late 2021, is expected to run through 2022 and 2023.
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