NUWARD™ small modular reactor (SMR) facilityBelgium-based Tractebel Engineering, part of France’s Engie, said on 6 May that it will provide engineering services to France’s EDF to deliver NUWARD™, a small modular reactor (SMR) technology. The construction of the reference plant is expected to start in 2030 and its deployment will contribute to meeting growing European demand for carbon-neutral, safe, and affordable electricity.

Tractebel has signed a contract with Centre national d'équipement de production d'électricité (CNEPE), Électricité de France (EDF)’s engineering centre located in Tours, France, to contribute to the development of the NUWARD™ project. In partnership with Tractebel company Laborelec, experts will conduct studies for the completion of the conceptual design of the first SMR in the European Union. The NUWARD™ consortium, led by EDF, brings together the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), TechnicAtome, Naval Group and Framatome. Its design will consist of a 340 MWe pressurised water SMR plant with two reactors of 170MWe each. It will be based on first-class French nuclear pressurised water reactor technologies. 

Tractebel said its engineers have already carried out technical and economic studies to confirm several design options. The new contract, which runs through October 2022, includes the conceptual design studies for parts of the conventional island (turbine hall), the balance of plant (water intake and servicing system) and the 3-D modelling of the buildings housing these systems. Experts will also manage interfaces with the different partners to make sure that the data received or provided are communicated clearly and in a timely fashion. They will also be responsible for the civil engineering preliminary studies and the evaluation of the costs related to our scope. In addition, and in conjunction with the other NUWARD™ partners, Tractebel will draw up the site layout.

The next phase of the project, the basic design completion, is expected to start in 2023. Tractebel is already mobilising its resources to support EDF during this new phase, especially in the fields of systems studies and civil and layout engineering, but also to conduct the electrical and safety/licensing studies. Tractebel said around 20 of our engineers are currently working on the project. 

Image: Artists impression of the future NUWARD™ small modular reactor facility (Copyright @EDF2021)