Areva to Forge Reactor Parts for U.K. Project

Aug. 16, 2011
Contract placed for Creusot to manufacture components for EDFs planned nuclear expansion
Areva, the French energy engineering conglomerate, has been contracted to produce large-scale forgings for EDF Energy’s proposed nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, in southwest England. EDF aims to install two of Areva’s EPR generation III+ reactors as part of its plan to expand the Hinkley Point reactor complex. The assignment came among a series of agreements between Areva and EDF, involving maintenance of existing nuclear plants, development work on the European Pressurized Reactor design, and management of nuclear fuel. The volume of materials to be supplied to EDF for the U.K. project and the value of the contract have not been announced. “This agreement confirms the United Kingdom’s commitment to promote nuclear power, a sustainable, economically-viable and low-carbon energy source. It represents a milestone for Areva’s new build projects in the country,” stated Areva CEO, Luc Oursel. The EPR generation III+ is a pressurized water reactor designed and developed mainly Areva NP (the group’s nuclear power subsidiary), Electricité de France (EDF), and Siemens AG. Four of these reactors are currently under construction: two in China, one in Finland, and one in France. As many as six more EPR installations have been proposed for sites in the U.K., according to Areva. In addition to supplying the reactor design, Areva will manufacture many of the critical, and large-scale reactor vessel components at its Creusot Forge and Creusot Mecanique (machining) operations in eastern France. EDF Energy produces about 20% of the U.K.’s electricity from nuclear, coal, and gas power stations, as well as combined heat and power plants and wind farms. It is the largest-volume supplier of electricity in the country, and supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million businesses and residential customers in the U.K. EDF operates two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in southwest England, and is proposing to build two more two generating units. The U.K. Parliament recently endorsed a National Policy Statement for Energy that supports expansion of nuclear-power generating capacity, and the EPR reactor project is now undergoing a design assessment. British regulators have previously affirmed the EPR design and its safety standards.