"Substantial" German contract for SMP

3 July 2002

BNFL and the German utility E.ON have signed contracts covering the supply of MOX fuel and associated recycling services.

The main element of the package of contracts is the commitment by E.ON, Germany's largest nuclear generator, to convert all of its separated plutonium arisings at Sellafield into MOX fuel in the Sellafield MOX plant (SMP). This will be the largest single MOX fuel contract for SMP to date, and will use a significant proportion of the plant's capacity for the next few years.

Commenting on the agreement, BNFL's chief executive Norman Askew said the contract confirmed strong customer demand for MOX fuel from SMP. "I am delighted that we have signed such an important contract with E.ON, who are one of our largest customers," he added.

A heads of agreement was signed with E.ON last year for this business, the details of which have now been formalised with the signature of contracts.

SMP started up last year, following government go-ahead for full-scale commercial production of MOX fuel. BNFL said at the time that it already had sufficient reserved/contracted business for 40% of committed plant capacity - the projected break-even point under a reference case financial scenario. The government gave the go-ahead after BNFL and E.ON signed the heads of agreement, which was said at the time to take SMP's contracted/ reserved business from 22% to 36% of capacity.

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