France’s Framatome said on 28 October it had opened the new SPEC 200 manufacturing facility at its Operational Centre of Excellence in Lynchburg, Virginia, completing transfer of the factory from China to the USA.
The ribbon-cutting, which took place in September, marked the full integration of the SPEC 200 product line into Framatome’s solutions portfolio. Framatome acquired the SPEC 200 technology from Schneider Electric in 2018. The factory recently completed a successful Nuclear Procurement Issues Corporation (NUPIC) Audit, earning a recommendation for approval without restriction for supply of SPEC 200.
“Acquiring this proven instrumentation and control (I&C) ‘workhorse’ platform, including all the intellectual property, and moving the manufacturing to Lynchburg mean our customers can source their SPEC 200 modules from a nuclear-focused original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the US,” said Frédéric Lelièvre, senior executive vice president in charge of Sales, Regional Platforms and I&C at Framatome. “Our customers will realise improved technical support and quicker turnaround times on the manufacturing of their new modules as well as evaluation and repair services.”
SPEC 200 is an analogue I&C system that serves as part of the nuclear power plant's central nervous system. It has historically been installed in auxiliary safety systems (class 1E) and balance-of-plant applications, enabling nuclear plant operators to monitor and control plant operations while making the plant safer, more efficient and compliant with strict licensing requirements.
Framatome has begun partnering with utility customers around the world to develop SPEC 200 module refresh strategies to reduce risk in the near term as they position their plants for eventual digital I&C upgrades.
Photo: Opening of Framatome's new SPEC 200 manufacturing facility in the USA (credit: Framatome)