The company said the transaction expands its comprehensive portfolio of equipment and tooling for nuclear power plant inspections and maintenance.
The acquisition involves an exchange of facilities and resources. Framatome assumes ownership of equipment, tooling and contracts related to BWXT’s US commercial nuclear services business, while transferring to BWXT ownership of a portion of its Mt. Athos Road facility in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Mt. Athos Road is the site of Framatome’s “solutions complex”, which includes a technical centre, pump and motor service centre, and chemistry and materials centre.
“This announcement is an indicator of growth and expansion in our respective markets for both Framatome and BWXT,” said Gary Mignogna, president and chief executive officer of Framatome in North America. “We are committed to providing proven, reliable technologies and service to utilities to support their plant operations, while also growing our operations in Virginia.”
BWXT, also based in Lynchburg, supplies nuclear components and fuel to the US government. It also supplies components, services and Candu fuel for the commercial nuclear power industry.
The company said in April that the planned restart and expansion of its Triso nuclear fuel manufacturing facility in Lynchburg is ahead of schedule.
Late last year BWXT said expansion of Triso fuel production capability will position it to meet “emergent client interests” in Department of Defence microreactors, space reactors, and Generation IV civil advanced reactors.
Triso, a shortened form of the term tristructural-isotropic, refers to a specific design of uranium nuclear reactor fuel. Tristructural refers to the layers of coatings surrounding the uranium fuel, and isotropic refers to the kernel being the same size in each direction since it takes the shape of a sphere.
Triso fuel can withstand extreme heat and has very low proliferation concerns and environmental risks, BWXT said.
BWXT is the only US company to manufacture irradiation-tested uranium oxycarbide Triso fuel using production-scale equipment.