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AREVA celebrates the National Science Festival

News brief


December 14, 2009

Organized by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the aim of the Fête de la science national science festival is to encourage an exchange of expertise and to introduce as many people as possible to the keys to understanding the world we live in. Its success relies on the commitment of people keen to pass on their enthusiasm for science to others.

This 18th festival was held between November 16 and 22 this year, with the theme of "The Origins of Life and the Universe: evolutions and revolutions". A number of AREVA sites were involved in a variety of different events.

  • Romans hosted the "Nuclear Energy and Society" exhibition presented in partnership with the French Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute. AREVA was mainly represented at the Jobs Forum.
  • In Lyon, a stand with the theme of "Ça se mesure et on peut s’en protéger" (This can be gauged and we can protect ourselves from it) welcomed school students.
  • Our site in Erlangen (Germany) anticipated the festival by participating in the "Great Night of Knowledge" held on October 24th. This event gave many researchers and science students the chance to look behind the scenes at the job opportunities on offer in the nuclear industry.

"Teachers in Industry": an original initiative forming part of the National Science Festival

Four of our sites also joined the "Professeurs en entreprise" (Teachers in Industry) initiative launched by the C.génial* foundation. For a period of two hours, all four sites threw open their doors to secondary and high schools science and technology teachers. This open-doors event provided an opportunity to discuss the industrial challenges involved in our business, explain some of the things we do and energize the relationship between schools, industry, science, technological innovation and research.

* The aim of the C.génial foundation is to excite the interest of young people in science and technology by giving them first-hand experience of companies where scientific and technological knowledge are applied.

La Hague

The engineers here gave a presentation explaining to teachers what happens at the site, which was followed by a fascinating series of discussions. Our guests were then taken on a tour of the nuclear installations, including the used fuel unloading facility, the fuel cooling pond and the central control room.


Visiting teachers were welcomed by the public relations officer and taken on a guided tour of our state of the art site where reactors’ big components are made. The tour was followed by a discussion about scientific training opportunities and the different types of job available at this site.

La Défense

In the simulation center used to train engineers, two major themes were addressed: potential risks of accident and nuclear safety. In order to give the teachers a better understanding, le site’s manager explained to them how this emergency unit is organized and showed them a number of pictures illustrating how the systems work.


Cezus presented the various stages involved in producing zirconium alloy tubes.

All the teachers showed a real interest in what we do and raised a number of important issues. These valuable opportunities for discussion give AREVA the chance to encourage dialog between its world in the nuclear industry and the world of education. They also allow us to tell people about the latest technological innovations developed by the Group and the effects they have on all our daily lives.

The feedback received from teachers are extremely encouraging, and make it clear that they appreciated the educational abilities of our host teams. The great majority said that they would like to come again and be invited to take part in other company visits under the same scheme. Many are now developing ways in which to pass on the benefits of their visit to their students.

It is through such initiatives that the Group is able to strengthen its status as a major information provider helping the general public to understand the mysteries of nuclear power and the role it plays in our society.