French utility EDF is to take a majority stake in AREVA's reactor division, the French government said today. The move is part of a wider restructuring to revitalise the nuclear industry in France.
"From now on, design, project management and marketing of new EDF and AREVA reactors will be brought together in one dedicated company," the French presidency said.
It added that the merger would allow "an ambitious export policy and the future renewal of the French nuclear fleet," and would enable EDF and AREVA "to reduce the risk" on major projects currently being undertaken by AREVA.
Struggling AREVA reported a record net loss of €4.8bn ($5.3bn) in 2014 and has launched a turnaround plan that is hoping to save €1bn a year by 2017.
In addition to selling off assets, AREVA recently announced plans to reduce labour costs by cutting up to 6000 jobs. About a third of the group's 45,000 strong workforce is employed by the reactor subsidiary AREVA NP. The company also has mining, uranium enrichment and reprocessing divisions.
AREVA said in a statement that its governing authorities will work in complete co-operation with EDF on the terms of an agreement for a 'global strategic partnership' and the conditions for EDF to take a majority stake in the capital of AREVA NP.