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United Kingdom: AREVA signs industrial partnerships and prepares for new build project delivery

Press release

December 04, 2008

AREVA announced today that it is immediately implementing an industrial action plan to ensure effective delivery in the UK of its EPR™[i] nuclear reactors which could be the first new reactors to be built in the country for over 20 years.

This announcement is underpinned by E.ON’s announcement that it is creating a joint UK-based team with staff from AREVA and Siemens with the intention of taking forward the development of at least two EPRs™ in the UK. It is further underpinned by AREVA’s partnership with EDF for the EPR’s™ Generic Design Assessment[1] process.

As part of this action plan:

  • AREVA has reached agreements with two of the UK’s leading companies – Balfour Beatty and Rolls-Royce – which cover engineering, manufacturing and construction.
  • AREVA and its partners will identify the UK’s industrial landscape, the local skills and resources required to deliver a fleet of EPRs™ and develop an upskilling programme.
  • These initiatives will have clear milestones and significant progress must be made in the next 12 months to ensure project delivery.

Announcing AREVA’s partners and the series of measures to be taken, Luc Oursel, President and CEO of AREVA NP, said: “The UK new build programme could be as large as 20 to 25 GW. E.ON, like EDF, has decided to participate in this programme. That’s why we need to start now to forge the UK industrial landscape to ensure we have the right people, the right skills and the right industrial infrastructure to realise our UK EPR™ projects. We are delighted to have partners of such high quality as Balfour Beatty and Rolls-Royce to work with us preparing the ground.

It is excellent news also that E.ON is establishing a joint UK-based team to support the development of potential new build projects in the UK. They will foster new jobs and significantly enhance skills and capabilities in UK manufacturing and construction.”

Mike O'Brien, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change said:"This is good news for British manufacturing and engineering at a time when good news is much needed.  It represents a vote of confidence by AREVA in the UK new nuclear market and a vote of confidence in the UK supply chain.  Partnership with two of our biggest companies, Rolls Royce and Balfour Beatty, will provide up to 15,000 British manufacturing and construction jobs for 25 years.

This is the welcome face of low carbon energy, which we'll see more and more over the coming decades, opening up enormous potential for UK plc at home and globally."

Contact Press in London
Julien Duperray: +33 6 86 15 41 95
Martin Adeney: +44 7836-550139

[1] Generic Design Assessment: companies submit information on their reactor designs to the British Nuclear Regulators, who assess this information before a full application is made to build a nuclear power station at a particular site. The process involves a rigorous and structured examination of detailed design information by the Regulators. At the end of their assessment (and at key stages during it) the Regulators will issue reports on their findings, confirming whether they judge a design to be satisfactory.

[i] EPR is a trademark of AREVA Group

More about

With manufacturing facilities in 43 countries and a sales network in more than 100, AREVA offers customers reliable technological solutions for CO2-free power generation and electricity transmission and distribution. We are the world leader in nuclear power and the only company to cover all industrial activities in this field. Our 71,000 employees are committed to continuous improvement on a daily basis, making sustainable development the focal point of the group’s industrial strategy.

AREVA’s businesses help meet the 21st century’s greatest challenges: making energy available to all, protecting the planet, and acting responsibly towards future generations.
Balfour Beatty is a world-class engineering, construction, services and investment business, well-positioned in infrastructure markets which offer significant long-term growth. 
Balfour Beatty works in partnership with sophisticated customers who value the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise.  Its skills are applied in appropriate combinations to meet individual customer need.

Balfour Beatty has gained wide-ranging nuclear experience in the UK over the past 50 years, covering civil engineering, mechanical and electrical, construction and facilities management at sites including Sellafield, Sizewell B, Hunterston and Torness. 
Balfour Beatty employs over 35,000 people.

Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. Rolls-Royce currently has the largest nuclear skills base of any UK company, with around 2,000 employees in the UK, US and France.  Rolls-Royce has been part of the UK’s nuclear industry for over 50 years, working on the design, safety justification, nuclear manufacture and in-service support of Royal Navy nuclear reactor plants.

E.ON is one of the UK’s leading power and gas companies – generating and distributing electricity, and retailing power and gas – and is part of the E.ON group, the world's largest investor-owned power and gas company. We employ around 17,000 people in the UK.
E.ON’s retail business is a leading energy supplier in the UK with around 5.5 million electricity and gas customers, covering domestic, SME and industrial. 

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