General overhaul of French nuclear power plants: The objective of EDF’s “Grand Carénage” program is to extend the service life of CNPE plants (centres nucléaires de production d’électricité, or nuclear power stations). In addition, EDF has started the “Partner” Project, an independent investment program to build and rehabilitate service and commercial buildings.

The Partner Program: eco-rehabilitation of tertiary buildings

The program is intended to last ten years and runs in parallel to the industrial project for French nuclear power plants. There are around 70 new builds planned, along with the rehabilitation of a further 200 buildings and the renovation of more than 700 tertiary facilities (offices, training facilities, company canteens, changing rooms, stores, etc.) which belong to the 19 CNPE sites.

In the context of the Partner Program, VINCI Construction France was commissioned to create more than 300 000 m2 of floor space on 11 CPNE sites south of the Loire. The objectives of the Partner Program include the construction and rehabilitation of buildings according to detailed specifications based on a building concept that is applicable to all regions. This involves creating conditions that ensure optimum comfort, irrespective of the climate, with or without air conditioning. The scheme is subject to quality testing by VINCI Construction France. The work involves implementing the OXYGEN® concept, which guarantees adherence to energy and environmental values in the structures created.

VINCI Construction France was awarded the contract as a result of its high-quality, affordable solutions. The framework agreement runs for six years and can twice be extended by one further year. The Partner Program also pursues social objectives, such as the promotion of locally-based companies and firms. That is why the planning team is awarding the performance of the construction work to the regional subsidiaries of VINCI Construction France.

Success for R&M

VINCI Construction France and its project partner Alternet are relying on cabling solutions from R&M for the network infrastructure in the buildings.

These are being used for the construction, rehabilitation and renovation work at the 11 CNPE plants arising from the framework contract.

“We have been working with R&M for many years. When it came to the choice of infrastructures for the voice, data and image transmission networks, we selected R&M’s proposal, because it exactly met our specifications in terms of technology, quality and sustainability,” explained Didier Godefroy, Manager of the Partner Project at VINCI Construction France.

High-performance, future-proof network

For the IT part of the project program, EDF required particularly fire-resistant cables, which it was absolutely essential to set out in the supplier’s offer. This meant that R&M was the right partner for VINCI Construction France. The decisive factors were the large solution portfolio, the high-quality products and not least the assurance of being able to supply large quantities of the fire-resistant C1 cable at short notice. The 25-year installation warranty for all solutions supplied by R&M also played an important role.

Cat. 6A SFTP cabling with a C1 sheath is included in the scope of delivery. The fire-resistant cables have efficient shielding against electrosmog, which makes them particularly durable and reliable. In addition, the Cat. 6A modules are easy to handle, offer high dielectric strength and are short-circuit proof.

“During the tests, we established very high tolerances, which indicates that the network is future-proofed and will have a very long service life. That is a perfect fit with our project philosophy,” added Eric Corcessin, Electronics Project Manager in VINCI Construction France’s Technical Management.

Project implementation

The Partner Program started in 2015 with the first construction and rehabilitation schemes. There are also numerous projects in the planning phase. Around 350 kilometers of SFTP 6A cables and 14 000 Cat. 6A EL connection modules have so far been installed.