Framatome Earns Perfect Scores on Work at the Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor

Framatome USGS was contracted to perform work on the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL) as part of the organization’s plans to expand capacity and evaluate extending operations beyond 2040.

The scope included Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) flange volumetric examinations and removal and replacement of the original design Top Head Closure Plate (THCP). The project was completed during the scheduled reactor core internal changeout outage on time with zero safety events and no human performance issues.

Framatome performed the qualification of the Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) volumetric technique for the ATR Stainless Steel Pressure Vessel and developed the delivery tooling for the execution of the RPV flange examinations. Framatome was also contracted to design and fabricate the THCP handling system to safely remove and lower the THCP and position the new THCP Mark II for installation.

The teams earned perfect scores on the “voice of the customer” ratings for their performance and extremely positive feedback from the ATR management staff.

About the ATR

INL’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is the world’s premier nuclear test reactor. It provides unmatched, national priority nuclear fuel and materials testing capabilities for military, federal, university, and industry partners and customers.

As the national laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), INL serves a key role in U.S. nuclear energy research initiatives and programs, such as the National Reactor Innovation Center. More information about ATR can be found at