Framatome announced it has completed the first remote qualification inspection of a large component for the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power project in the United Kingdom.
Addressing concerns with travel during the pandemic, Framatome’s VCALL inspection system enabled experts based in the UK to complete complex inspections on components located in Saint Marcel, France. This ensured the continuity of necessary activities at the Hinkley Point site and enabled the HPC deployment project team "to complete the critical inspection milestone as scheduled," Framatome said.
VCALL was developed by Framatome’s software engineering teams. The software allows operators to conduct remote inspections in a secure, sovereign environment mirroring the same conditions as in the field. Used for similar operations in other industries, the system provides functionality adapted to a nuclear environment utilising high resolution, remote controllable cameras and digitally secured data exchanges.
“Innovation is at the heart of what we do every day to advance our processes and technologies for robust solutions that serve our customers reliable low-carbon energy generation,” said Jean-Bernard Ville, senior executive vice president of Projects and Component Manufacturing at Framatome. “The COVID pandemic propels us to work differently to meet tight delivery schedules, regardless of health limitations and travel restrictions.”
France's Framatome is owned by the EDF Group (75.5%), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI – 19.5%) and Assystem (5%).
Photo: UK operator performing remote inspection of a large component located in France (Credit: Framatome)