Czech power utility (CEZ) and Areva have signed a major 15-year uranium enrichment services contract for the Temelin nuclear power plant (units 1 and 2).

The recent contract further increases the substantial order book for Areva’s future Georges Besse II enrichment plant, located on the Tricastin site. In February, Areva signed its biggest ever uranium enrichment contract with French utility EDF. That long-term contract, worth more than EUR5 billion ($7 billion), also secures enrichment services to be provided by the new GBII plant.

CEZ operates a fleet of six nuclear reactors (on the sites of Dukovany and Temelin) which provide 31% of the Czech Republic’s electricity generation. The Czech utility has recently announced its intent to increase its fleet of nuclear reactors, with the construction of two new units during the next decade.

CEZ said: “We consider the execution of the future EUP deliveries (Enriched Uranium Product) as a new challenge which will require a very close co-operation with Areva. This contract is a very important part of our long-term diversification of supply strategy.”

François-Xavier Rouxel, executive president of Areva’s Enrichment business unit commented: “We are very pleased to renew our collaboration with a Central European Utility. This success is a sign of the confidence placed by our Czech customer in AREVA’s know-how and reliability.”

Areva has previously announced that the first centrifuge cascade at the GBII plan “will begin spinning at the end of the year”. Full production capacity of 7.5 million SWU per year at the plant is targeted for 2016.

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