French nuclear company Framatome has used a remote-controlled submarine to inspect part of a nuclear power plant in Spain.

It completed a visual inspection of the tube bundle top structure of a steam generator in Ascó Unit 2.Remote submarine used for nuclear plant inspection

Framatome’s team used an underwater inspection submarine system called SUSI. This small, remote-controlled submarine navigates the primary circuit as well as the steam generator’s secondary side of nuclear plants and is equipped with technology for various applications.

“This success shows our ability to perform complex inspections in nuclear power plants of all designs, anywhere in the world. Moreover, it is an important step in strengthening our presence in the Spanish market,” said Catherine Cornand, senior executive vice-president of Framatome’s Installed Base Business Unit.

The Ascó plant is operated by Asociación Nuclear Asco-Vandellos and consists of two pressurized water reactors. Asco 1 started operating in 1984 and has an installed net capacity of 1031 MW, while Asco 2 started in 1986 with an installed net capacity of 1027 MW.

Last month, Framatome celebrated Unit 1 of Taishan nuclear plant being connected to the Chinese grid. The plant operates on EPR technology designed and developed by Framatome.

Bernard Fontana, chairman of Framatome, said the connection marked “a historical moment for Framatome and for the whole nuclear industry”.

Framatomeis also involved in ongoing work Taishan 2, Flamanville 3 in France, Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Hinkley Point C in the UK.