Framatome extends long-term partnership with Slovenské Elektrárne

6 June 2023

France’s Framatome has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a global strategic relationship with Slovak power utility Slovenské Elektrárne. The signing ceremony took place during the visit to Slovakia of French President Emmanuel Macron for talks with Slovak President Zuzana Caputova. Cooperation on a long-term solution for fuel diversification for nuclear power plants in Slovakia is one of the key areas of the MOU, which outlines future strategy and an agreement for further discussions about extending the long-term commercial relationship between Framatome and Slovenské Elektrárne on areas of interest. These include nuclear operations and maintenance, nuclear fuel, safety, instrumentation & control (I&C) and cybersecurity, as well as the feasibility of nuclear medicine and radioisotope production in Slovakia.

Framatome CEO Bernard Fontana expressed his full support for Slovakia’s nuclear industry and energy policy. This agreement … further demonstrates our will to pursue this strong cooperation that contributes to Slovakia’s national security and diversification of supply for their VVER plant. Our customers count on our robust and reliable expertise, experience and integrated supply chain – especially in the area of nuclear fuel.”

The MOU builds upon a historical relationship and cooperation between Slovenské Elektrárne and Framatome in nuclear operation and maintenance, as well as services provided by Framatome for both the Bohunice and Mochovce NPPs. Framatome supplied the I&C system to the recently built Mochovce 3&4 reactors.

Branislav Strýcek, CEO of Slovenské Elektrárne said: “I consider diversification of nuclear fuel supply for stable and secure operation of Bohunice and Mochovce power plants to be one of our main tasks. I am very pleased that we have teamed up with Framatome on this project in cooperation with other European operators of VVER-440 reactors.”

Framatome was requested by all European VVER operating utilities, including Slovenské Elektrárne, to contribute to the development of a sovereign European fuel solution that avoids any disruption in critical services and reduces dependence on European imports. In the short term, Framatome is setting up its European fuel manufacturing facilities and supply chain operations based on existing fuel used by European VVER reactors. This does not require any modification to the reactor or licensing processes and contributes to a stock of European components from the licensed and qualified design.

“For several years now, Framatome has been developing an industrial solution to support VVER nuclear operators with respective short- and mid-term needs, for both VVER-1000 MW and VVER-440 MW reactors,” said Lionel Gaiffe, Senior Executive Vice President of the Fuel Business Unit at Framatome. “In the mid-term, Framatome is the only fuel supplier able to guarantee a sovereign European solution, including 100% European design, manufacturing and components supply chain, based on a long-term and proven expertise and track records.”

There are 18 VVER operating reactors in Europe, including four VVER 1,000 MW reactors in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, and 14 VVER 440 MW reactors in Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Image (from left to right): CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Slovenské Elektrární, Branislav Strýcek; CEO of Framatome, Bernard Fontana; and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and representative of the shareholder, Michele Bologna (courtesy of Slovenské Elektrárne)

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