15 April 11, 2008 – AREVA of France, a leader in the nuclear energy field, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited (MHI), a major player in the global nuclear industry, have decided to extend their cooperation into the new area of nuclear fuel.
Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA, met with Kazuo Tsukuda and Hideaki Omiya, chairman and president of MHI, respectively at the end of last week and signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to establish a joint business organization for the supply of PWR, BWR, MOX and gas reactor fuels. The implementation of this formation is expected by the end of the year.
The scope of the cooperation agreement will focus on the Japanese market. According to the MOU, both parties will discuss MHI’s potential investment in AREVA’s USA nuclear fuel fabrication facility.
It was also noted that the joint development work of their new reactor, the ATMEA 1, has made good progress towards the completion of its basic design by the end of 2009, and that design review by third parties is planned and that customer visits have already been started by ATMEA.
AREVA and MHI have also decided to work jointly on the South African tender for which AREVA proposed two EPRs, extending the manufacturing cooperation initiated for the Finnish Olkiluoto 3 EPR.
Commenting on the announcement Lauvergeon said that because of the long-standing and successful working relationship between AREVE and MHI “cooperation in the fuel business is a natural next step to develop our relationship”.