Reflecting our commitment to the French nuclear market, a team from Fine Tubes will be in Orléans, France from 1 – 3 October at NUKLEA 2013. Exhibiting on Stand L22, the team will be presenting a selection of its latest product developments for the nuclear industry. Bringing together energy suppliers and equipment providers, NUKLEA offers us an excellent opportunity to network at a regional level with both the nuclear industry majors, and tier two and three subcontractors.
Nuclear power is a substantial industry in France, responsible for generating some 80% of the country’s electricity supply. Moreover, while we supply a range of high-specification nuclear products to other global markets, the business is concluded on many occasions through French nuclear engineering companies where RCC-M code compliance is required. All of which makes it particularly beneficial for us, as a UK-based company, to be able to promote the services of our local office in Orléans.
The size range for our nuclear tubes goes up to 63.5mm outer diameter. Applications include steam generators, heat exchangers and condensers, fuel cladding, control rods, leak detection as well as instrumentation and control tubing.
Fine Tubes has been a major supplier to the nuclear industry for more than 40 years, producing high specification tubes in stainless steel, nickel, titanium and zirconium alloys for the AGR, PWR, CANDU and NPCIL programmes. But we have also applied our precision manufacturing expertise to support a number of other high profile projects, including:
The world’s first solar power station capable of generating electricity without sunlight, the Gemasolar plant in Spain features some 2650 panels spread across 185 hectares. Fine Tubes spent four years working with SENER developing and producing over 15km of specialist tubing which plays a crucial part in the design and function of Gemasolar. Operational since October 2011, the plant can generate electrical power for over 27,500 homes per year, saving CO2 emissions of more than 30,000t a year.
Fine Tubes has also played a key role in the manufacture and supply of critical components for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), where the historic discovery of a sub-atomic particle consistent with the Higgs boson was recently announced. Fine Tubes produced and supplied 130km of cooling tubes for the beam screens of the LHC arc magnets that carry a flow of supercritical helium. As these arc magnets operate in a super fluid helium bath at 1.98 degrees Kelvin (equivalent to -271 °C), the high specification cooling tubes had to be manufactured from a specially developed austenitic stainless steel grade, that provides high mechanical strength in combination with very low magnetic permeability at cryogenic temperatures.