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AREVA publishes submission to UK Energy Review

Press release


May 17, 2006

AREVA, the international nuclear energy group, today released its submission to the British Government's energy review*.

The group, which has built 98 of the world's 443 reactors, believes that a new generation of nuclear power stations can be launched in the UK without Government subsidy and operate within a competitive energy market. The Government should however facilitate new build by putting in place a number of enablers, including:

  • A modernised planning and regulatory system to make the approval processes faster and more predictable. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate should also be given sufficient resources so it can perform its assessments in a timely manner.
  • A policy framework for long-term radioactive waste management to reassure the public that the issue is properly tackled and provide potential investors with clarity on potential costs and liabilities.

The AREVA study concludes that with the right processes in place, a new nuclear power station in the UK could be generating electricity by 2017. Britain will benefit from the standardisation of technology and the experience of nuclear companies in Europe, the USA and Asia, leading to a more predictable cost and build time for UK stations.

Decommissioning is not a financial obstacle to building the new generation of nuclear power stations and does not alter nuclear competitiveness, as the costs can be easily provided for over the 60-year life of the plant.

With the appropriate reforms to regulatory planning and a clear legal framework for waste management, power generators are likely to chose nuclear as it is an economically competitive method of generating base-load electricity even before the costs of carbon are taken into account.

Robert Davies, AREVA NP's representative in the United Kingdom, says: "The group believes that nuclear power should be part of the solution, together with renewables and energy saving, to meeting the UK's electricity needs and cutting CO2 emissions."

*In January 2006, the British Government launched an energy review which, following a consultation process, will set out the new direction of the country's energy policy. One of the issues raised was whether there were any particular questions the Government should consider when examining possible nuclear new build. As part of the consultation Government invited the public, industry and specialists to contribute submissions that would help them answer these questions.

With 1600 employees and £300 million in revenue, AREVA has a strong industrial presence in the United Kingdom, mainly in the field of electricity transmission and distribution. The group also supplies the main nuclear power companies with fuel and services.

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