NUWARD, EDF and Tractebel signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement on 15 June 2023 to strengthen and extend their collaboration in the development of the NUWARD Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology.

For over 50 years, Tractebel nuclear experts have supported the EDF Group in designing and operating the French nuclear fleet and building reactors in France and abroad. The collaboration of Tractebel and EDF on the NUWARD SMR project, the first EU-developed SMR technology, started in 2021. Tractebel actively contributed to the finalization of the conceptual design phase and has worked on the nuclear island and the conventional part of the plant for the basic design phase.

The partners have now decided to deepen and extend their collaboration in the long run. In March 2023, EDF created its subsidiary NUWARD and began the basic design phase of the NUWARD SMR project. It resulted in a significant increase in the human resources required for the project.

To support this development, Tractebel will allocate more resources to NUWARD SMR in all the fields of nuclear engineering. Around 50 engineers from Tractebel are currently working on the NUWARD SMR project. This number is expected to double in the coming years.

“Tractebel has been leading innovation in SMR for the past five years. We are convinced that this technology will play a key role in the energy transition in Europe and worldwide. The cooperation agreement with NUWARD reinforces our commitment to the development of the first EU SMR technology. Tractebel brings a European and industrial perspective to NUWARD. Our engineers have worked on projects in several European countries to investigate SMRs’ potential to decarbonize heavy industries and retrofit coal power plants. We can leverage this experience to extend the industrial applications of the NUWARD SMR technology and support NUWARD in its projects outside France to help Europe reach carbon neutrality by 2050.” says Denis Dumont, Chief Global Nuclear Officer, Tractebel.

“Tractebel has a proven track record of supporting nuclear stakeholders in their complex projects. That is why, the company is a key partner for NUWARD, alongside the other partners. The competition for skilled workers has become fierce within the nuclear industry. Building a Europe-wide team for the NUWARD SMR project is crucial to support our ambition in positioning NUWARD SMR as the European benchmark for small modular reactors.” says Renaud Crassous, NUWARD Executive President.