Italian electricity provider Enel has signed a memorandum of understanding with EDF to develop nuclear energy in Italy.
The deal presupposes that the country's long-term ban on nuclear power, and technical hurdles, would be overcome.
Enel said, "When the legislative and technical process to enable a return to nuclear power in Italy is complete, Enel and EDF will undertake to develop, build and operate at least four generation units based on European Pressurized water Reactor (EPR) technology."
Enel has a 12.5% stake in the Flamanville, France EPR unit. The goal is for the first Italian unit to enter commercial service no later than 2020.
In the MoU, Enel and EDF have formed a 50:50 joint venture that will be responsible for the development of the feasibility studies for the construction of the EPR units. Subsequently, once the studies have been completed and the necessary investment decisions taken, individual companies will be instituted to build, own and operate each of the EPR units. Each will feature a majority stake for Enel in the ownership of the plants and electricity withdrawal rights; Enel leadership in plant operation; opening of ownership to third parties, with Enel and EDF retaining majority control of the entities.
The agreement has a term of five years from the signing date, with the possibility of extension.
In a second Memorandum of Understanding, Enel expressed its willingness to extend the previous agreement on nuclear energy already signed with EDF to establish five additional EPR reactors in France, beginning with the plant recently authorised in Penly by the French government.
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