EDF Cattenom power plant: 64,200 tubes quickly replaced, challenge met!

Infrastructures Division

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Eiffage Métal's teams worked in the EDF Cattenom nuclear power plant (57) to remove and retube 3 condensers. The operation, which was to be carried out while the condensers were stationary, consisted of replacing 3 x 21,400 13 m brass tubes - as well as the tubular plates in which they are inserted - with titanium tubes.

For each unit shutdown, with EDF's operating loss representing one million euros per day, Eiffage Métal had to find effective solutions to limit intervention time as much as possible: review of equipment and various operations, application of the VSM* methodology to map tasks, anticipation of hazard reduction using the FMECA method**, work facilitated by the FinalCad application.

Of note: the "Ironhand®" bionic glove, the world's first flexible robotic system for physical assistance, developed by Bioservo Technologies AB and Eiffage, made available to teams for the occasion and thanks to which a 69% reduction in hand effort could be observed. Completed in March, the project involved up to 150 employees and subcontractors every day, in 3/8, 6 days a week.

This mobilization of internal synergies, combined with winning methodologies, made it possible to reduce intervention times by 7 days out of the 53 initially planned, in line with the objective set by EDF.

This performance was praised by the energy company, which enabled Eiffage Métal to finish third in the Quality Challenge organised on this unit shutdown.

Congratulations to the teams, the rest this summer for a new intervention on the site....

NB: The EDF Cattenom nuclear power plant is located in Lorraine, on the banks of the Moselle. It has four pressurized water nuclear reactors (PWRs) with a capacity of 1,300 megawatts of electricity each. Cattenom is the seventh largest power plant in the world in terms of installed capacity, and the second largest in France for its electricity production. The plant has four air coolers and takes water from the Moselle to cool it.

* VSM: Value stream mapping

**AMDEC: Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis

Photo Credit: Eiffage Branche Infrastructures