Areva signs up Rolls-Royce for EPR

11 March 2011

French nuclear vendor Areva has signed an industrial cooperation agreement with Rolls-Royce plc covering the manufacture of components for new nuclear power plants and other nuclear projects in the United Kingdom and beyond.

After the signing ceremony, Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon said: “We look forward to sharing processes, knowledge and skills to ensure that UK industry can perform a key role in manufacturing the new plants to be built in Britain and abroad. We want solid relationships with a series of international companies that can work with us globally. We are looking for strong ties and this new agreement is a major step in the direction.”

Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive said: “We have an excellent relationship with Areva, which is reflected in this important agreement. With 50 years’ nuclear experience and an extensive nuclear supply chain we can bring our significant expertise to bear for the benefit of the nuclear new build programme. This will deliver benefits to the UK and will further enhance the export potential in this fast growing sector.”

Rolls-Royce was previously involved in the UK EPR project as an independent safety assessor. It also participated in a design safety review committee.

Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green, said that the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Manufacturing Advisory Service will be working to identify and develop the potential of UK manufacturing companies in the civil nuclear supply chain to ensure they are able to win and hold orders.

Areva has been chosen to build the nuclear steam generating systems for the first four EPR reactors which are planned for construction in the UK by EDF and is competing for a further four reactors for Horizon Nuclear Power. The group is also in discussions with NuGen for the construction of two EPR reactors.

Within the scope of these projects, an estimated 70 to 80 per cent of the total auxiliary equipment manufacturing could be available to UK companies and a similar percentage for civil construction, it said. It is also estimated that the manufacture and construction of each twin set of EPR reactors in the country will support over 20,000 jobs at its peak.

Areva also announced that it has reached an agreement with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to act as its manufacturing sourcing and competence hub to identify and assist other British manufacturing companies that want to enter the civil nuclear market for the first time. Furthermore, the group and its EPR Delivery Team partners is also drawing up plans for training in the skills required for the nuclear new build programme with relevant bodies and colleges.

* In January, UK nuclear new-build rival Westinghouse announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Doosan Power Systems. Although it did not reveal contractual details, their scope includes manufacturing and components, supply chain and logistics, and engineering support.

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