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Major Component Replacement: Reactor Vessel Head

AREVA is the world record holder for the best RVH Replacement

Reactor Vessel Head Replacement

Utility leaders count on AREVA for a wide range of component services, from design and fabrication through managing the asset. AREVA manufactures Control Rod Drive Mechanisms (CRDMs) as well as Reactor Vessel Heads (RVHs). In addition, as your full-service vendor, AREVA provides design, fabrication, project management, installation, heavy rigging, and disposal services.

With the industry’s most responsive U.S. teams, AREVA’s proven track record includes the successful fabrication of 156 original and replacement RVHs for nuclear customers in 11 different countries (including AREVA, CE, Westinghouse, and B&W-designed two-, three- and four-loop plants). All of these projects were delivered on schedule.

Unparalleled CRDM Experience

AREVA’s 35 years of experience in developing, refining and qualifying the CRDM installation process has created the world’s most reliable CRDM replacement program. Moreover, AREVA has manufactured and installed CRDMs in reactor vessel heads for over 80 nuclear units. To date, AREVA’s installations number over 6,000 new CRDMs and hundreds of refurbished CRDMs, including all seven B&W plants.

CRDM Benefits
Integrated Latch Housing Design

  • Eliminates lower canopy seal — no potential for leakage
  • No change in In-Service Inspection needs

Single Piece Rod Travel Housing

  • Eliminates joint at the top omega seal — no potential for leakage

Omega Seal Weld

  • No leaks in over 5,300 installations
  • Ease of CRDM maintenance in the field
  • No structural weld ISI inspection required

Features & Benefits

  • Performed World Record RVH Replacement outage at Salem in 26 days
  • Extensive experience: 156 original and replacement RVHs manufactured, including 19 replacement heads for U.S. plants
  • Capabilities to manufacture both replacement RVHs and CRDMs
  • The only vertically integrated supplier whose main focus is on nuclear plants
  • A complete portfolio of replacement head services — from RVH and CRDM fabrication to installation and service structure upgrades to disposal
  • Exclusive integrated latch housing assembly to eliminate the risk of leakage from stress corrosion cracking
  • Integral rod-travel housing/cap to eliminate leakage paths from seal welds
  • Raw material improvements to ensure excellent mechanical properties and reliability of pressure-retaining components

Highlights of the AREVA Repair Process

• Thermal Sleeve Removal (If Applicable)

• Roll Nozzle in Repair Region

• Machine Weld Prep & PT Weld Area

• Perform Ambient Temperature Temper Bead Structural Weld

• Prepare Welded Surface For NDE

• Perform Post-Repair UT & PT

• Remediate Rolled and Repaired Areas

• Install Replacement Thermal Sleeve (If Required)

“On Sunday, November 6, 2005, the Salem 1 breaker was closed at 01:03 hours, concluding the world’s best reactor vessel head replacement. Total duration was 25 days, 6 hours — second to none. AREVA’s leadership through both 2005 reactor head replacements contributed to the two best and shortest Salem refueling outages ever.”
— Dick Labott, Project Manager
Salem 1 & 2 RVCH Replacements

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Contact Us

Lisa Hawkins
Business Development Manager, CR&R
Tel: 434.832.2858