Areva announced on 18 January that its Georges Besse II enrichment plant at Tricastin in France had reached its full production capacity of 7.5m million work units (SWUs) in 2016.

"The plant has gradually been able to ramp up its activity thanks to the modularity of its production process," Areva said. "The most recent qualification tests carried out have confirmed the performance capabilities of the plant's equipment with its industrial facilities showing rates of efficiency in excess of 99%." 

Georges Besse II comprises two units. The North unit entered commercial operation in March 2013,  two years after production of the first commercial SWUs at the South unit. The plant uses the centrifuge technology which Areva said "offers the best possible guarantees in terms of safety, competitiveness and energy savings, technical reliability, and environmental impact". Areva added that a new workshop responsible for reconditioning, sampling and quality control of materials, which was commissioned at the plant in early 2015, had also reached its full production capacity.