French nuclear company Framatome has been awarded a contract by Kernkraftwerk Gösgen-Däniken AG (KKG) to modernise the reactor protection system in the emergency control building at the Gösgen nuclear power plant in Switzerland.

A reactor protection system (RPS) is a combination of nuclear safety components designed to safely shut down reactors in case of emergencies and prevent the release of radioactive materials.

The system can be shutdown, or “tripped”, either manually or automatically.

Trips occur when the parameters meet or exceed the limit setpoint. A trip of the RPS results in full insertion of all control rods, which control the rate of fission of the nuclear fuel, and shutdown of the reactor.

In a press statement, Framatome said that the RPS at Gösgen will be modernised using Framatome’s TELEPERM XS digital instrumentation and control (I&C) platform.

Since 2002, KKG, the operator of Gösgen, in cooperation with Framatome, has modernised its I&C systems using a step-by-step approach, transitioning from analogue to digital technologies.

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In 2019, Framatome was awarded a contract by KKG to modernise the reactor protection system at Gösgen. Under that  contract, the entire RPS was modernised using Framatome’s TELEPERM XS digital I&C platform.

Installation of the RPS system was carried out during the plant’s planned 2022 outage.

Frédéric Lelièvre, senior executive vice-president of sales, regional platforms and instrumentation and control business unit at Framatome, said: “This new contract again illustrates the trust our customer has in our ability to modernise from analogue to digital technologies, while continuing to meet the highest standards of safety.”

The Gösgen pressurized water reactor was initially connected to the grid in 1979 and has a net electric output of 1,010MW.

Framatome’s digital TELEPERM XS platform has been installed or is currently being installed in 92 reactors in 17 countries worldwide.