November 1, 2011


A partnership between Phoenix Inspection Systems and French nuclear support services company COMEX Nucleaire has resulted in a major contract win.

The partners have been commissioned by energy provider EDF to produce an inspection system for the spray nozzles on EDF’s fleet of pressurised water reactors. Phoenix will be responsible for the design and manufacture of a bespoke inspection system while COMEX will be responsible for NDE development and carrying out the inspection.

The spray nozzle acts as an expansion tank, allowing excess pressure to escape from the primary circuit which contains the water used to cool the reactor. As the spray nozzle is subject to frequent changes in pressure, it is liable to suffer fatigue stress and therefore requires regular testing.

An agreement between Phoenix and Comex was signed in March this year and saw the companies join forces to develop non-destructive testing systems, and in particular to bid together on EDF invitations to tender in France.

COMEX Nucleaire, based in Marseille, employs over 350 engineers and technicians and offers services covering the full lifecycle of nuclear plants, from design and construction to maintenance and decommissioning. Phoenix specialises in the design and manufacture of non-destructive testing (NDT) equipment and serves clients in the nuclear, oil and gas, power generation, aerospace and rail sectors.

Phoenix managing director Karl Quirk says: “COMEX’s track record in nuclear inspection complements our own expertise in designing bespoke equipment for the nuclear sector. The agreement builds on our previous experience and gives us a strong partner within the French market to allow us to expand our business there.”

Patrick Bergalonne, NDT manager of nuclear services for COMEX, said: “COMEX has over 20 years’ experience in nuclear inspection and maintenance. The partnership with Phoenix allows us to further strengthen our offering and has quickly produced results in the shape of this new contract, which we hope will be the first of many.”