Finnish Peikko Group, a supplier of specialist steel and concrete structures, has signed a contract to work with French contractor Bouygues Travaux Publics to develop a “steel concrete” construction method to build nuclear power plants and small modular reactors (SMRs).
Raimo Lehtinen, Peikko’s business director, said the aim was to “get Bouygues and Peikko strongly involved in growing the European market for new nuclear projects and especially for new EPR and SMR, which are currently in the development phase worldwide”.
“EPR” refers to a third generation pressurised water reactor design developed mainly by Framatome and EDF, which has become the main European large reactor.
The steel concrete method is based on a panel made up of two steel plates connected by a grid of ties, with the gap between filled with concrete on site.
Peikko says this method of building is faster than traditional in situ reinforced concrete, partly because it doesn’t require formwork and other temporary installations.
It adds that the method is especially effective in heavy reinforced structures, such as nuclear power plants.
The method was successfully tested by constructing a diesel generator building for use in nuclear power plants.
This five-month project was carried out at EDF’s testing area in Les Renardières, southeast of Paris.
Peikko made the steel structures for this building, and site work was carried out by Bouygues Construction Expertises Nucléaires, a subsidiary of Bouygues Travaux Publics.