Business / Companies

Areva's future pegged to new plants in China

By Lyu Chang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-31 08:21

Areva has a long-standing partnership with major players in China, including a joint venture named CNNC Areva Shanghai Tubing, created in 2011 in cooperation with the China National Nuclear Corp.

CAST is operational with an annual production of 1,500 kilometers of zirconium tubes that can be used for nuclear fuel assembly in light water reactors. The company is also discussing a second JV to produce ingots, a raw material used for the tubes.

Autebert said Areva is supplying instrument and control systems for the fifth and sixth pressurized water reactors being installed at the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province in East China, without disclosing how much the deals are worth.

"It will mostly serve the Chinese market in the beginning, but it's possible we could expand to supply the global market in future," he said.

China's nuclear energy development plans got a fresh impetus earlier this month after the State Council gave the green light for new reactors at the Hongyan River nuclear power plant in northeastern Liaoning province.

Units 5 and 6 of the Hongyan plant got construction approval just before the Chinese Lunar New Year and following those, units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant are the next possible candidates for approval, said industry experts.

Areva, which has been working with China General Nuclear Corp for 30 years, is also working on two evolutionary power reactors for China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company's Taishan nuclear power plant.

The EPR is a third-generation pressurized water reactor originally designed and developed by Framatome (now Areva), and Electricite de France in France, and Siemens AG in Germany.

Autebert said the company is now "preparing the Guangdong plant's commissioning phase, as all the components are in place".

Compared with the second-generation nuclear technology, EPR has more safety protection measures in place.

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