Framatome and US-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) have signed a teaming agreement to provide digital protection relays to nuclear power plants.

Numerical (digital) protection relays are designed to detect undesirable electrical conditions and initiate one or more actions to protect electrical distribution assets and vital plant equipment. 

“Electromechanical-to-digital protection upgrades support long-term operation, reduce life-cycle costs for electrical distribution assets and incorporate further benefits of digital technology,” said Craig Ranson, senior vice president of the Installed Base America at Framatome.

“Framatome and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories’ approach integrates the latest improvements in digital technology, supporting operators in increasing the reliability and operational flexibility of their plants.” 

SEL supplies state-of-the-art digital protection relays and accessories for heavy industry, while Framatome offers relay replacement solutions for a majority of nuclear power plant end uses. It has qualified digital protection relays and accessories for nuclear safety, quality and non-safety-related applications. 

“The nuclear industry has unique requirements, and we provide unmatched value in terms of quality, safety, service, performance and innovation,” said Mark Zeller, sales and service director of SEL. “We are excited to announce this teaming agreement and to make solutions for electrical protection modernization available to our customers.”

Framatome said it is currently implementing the first large-scale digital upgrade to the existing safety- and non-safety-related electromechanical protection relays at a US nuclear power plant. By the end of 2022, Framatome will supply the engineering, design, qualification, fabrication, commercial-grade dedication, testing, documentation and delivery of new medium voltage vacuum replacement breakers, digital protection relays and front door relay panels.