Atos's Eviden business and Schneider Electric have signed a contract with EDF to supply control systems for six planned EPR2 NPPs. EDF earlier initiated the authorisation procedures to start construction of the first two EPR2 reactors at the Penly NPP site in Normandy, scheduled for mid-2024. Eviden signed the contract through its Worldgrid business, specialising in energy management solutions and nuclear control systems.

Eviden and Schneider will supply the Level 1 standard control systems for the two plants. Worldgrid (Eviden) and Schneider Electric have begun work to design, qualify and build the Level 1 standard control systems.

Worldgrid, from its ISERAN campus in France’s Grenoble region, will be responsible for integrating and programming the programmable logic controllers (PLCs, as well as producing all the software needed to automate the translation of control function diagrams into PLC programs.

Schneider Electric, from its engineering and design office based in Aix-en-Provence, will be responsible for supplying the hardware infrastructure built around the M580 PLCs (nuclear range) meeting the appropriate qualification level in terms of nuclear safety. Production will take place at Schneider Electric’s French plants.

Worldgrid CEO Emmanuel Besse said: “We are proud to contribute to the renaissance of the nuclear industry in France… By working with other European companies on this project, we are helping to support Europe’s nuclear energy sovereignty, which is essential to support over the years as we transition to decarbonised energy mix.”

Laurent Bataille, Schneider Electric Executive Vice-President France Operations, noted: “With design and production rooted in our sites in the South-East of France, Schneider Electric is delighted to continue its long-standing partnership with the French nuclear industry, while helping to make France’s energy mix more resilient and low carbon."

In view of the expansion plans of the French nuclear industry, Worldgrid is seeking to recruit 150 people in 2023, 50% of them in the nuclear sector, and will continue this trend over the next five years. Schneider Electric is also working to strengthen its nuclear teams, with several dozen positions already available.

Image: Cutaway of an EPR2 reactor (courtesy of Bilfinger)