The nuclear industry comprises all the activities which provide the equipment and services necessary for the construction, supply and management of nuclear power plants that generate electricity. The nuclear industry requires the intervention of multiple subcontractors mastering a wide variety of technologies, though it is the role of the two major companies, EDF and AREVA, to utilise the nuclear energy produced in France.
Without nuclear energy, France would not currently have sufficient energy resources (oil, gas, coal) to meet all its energy needs, particularly electricity.
To date, the nuclear fleet is made up of 58 reactors spread over 19 nuclear sites throughout France. It is one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world with an average annual production of 405 TWh. Though power plants are equally present throughout the country, 3 regions in France are still responsible for the production of more than 60% of nuclear electricity:
With regard to jobs, according to a study by the SFEN (the French Nuclear Energy Company), the nuclear industry is the 3rd largest industrial sector in France with more than 220,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2017.
Nuclear power plants operate mainly on the principle of the fission of a uranium and plutonium nucleus. This reaction leads to the production of a large amount of heat. This will allow water to be heated to turn it into steam. Once evaporation has taken place, the steam will be able to operate a turbine, which itself is coupled to an alternator producing electricity.
The above explanation is a simplified summary of the process, the operation of a nuclear power plant is highly complex and numerous steps are involved in the process of electricity production.
Uranium and plutonium are both radioactive elements and therefore dangerous to health. Using them to produce electricity therefore requires high levels of safety precautions. There are five so-called "containment" barriers to protect against radioactivity :
Barriers 1 and 2 consist of transforming uranium into ceramic fuel pellets (1) which will themselves be stacked in hermetically sealed fuel rods (2). The third protective measure is a 25 cm thick steel-walled tank inside which the fuel rods are placed.
As a 4th barrier the reactor building is designed to withstand high pressures in the event of a problem. A second reinforced concrete enclosure (5) protects the installations from external accidents.
With nearly 50 years of experience and know-how in the metallurgy industry, Moscatelli assists you in the modelling and creation of structures in the nuclear field. Whether it is a small, medium or large-scale structure, our teams will be pleased to carry out your projects in compliance with both safety regulations and with the most reliable precision.
Among our areas of expertise, we carry out all types of boilermaking, piping, mechanical, corrugation and ventilation projects. Maintenance is also part of our know-how. We inspect and repair industrial equipment to ensure that it is working properly and to detect any anomalies.
For more information about our services, please consult the various sections of our website or contact us by telephone on 04 90 39 67 42, we will be happy to provide you with further information.