Georges Besse II project reaches 'major milestone'

20 February 2008

Areva announced on 19 February that it had passed possession of the centrifuge assembly facility at the Tricastin site in France to Enrichment Technology Company (ETC), a joint venture between Areva and Urenco. Areva said the "major milestone" in the construction of the Georges Besse II (GBII) uranium enrichment plant was on schedule. ET France - a subsidiary of ETC - will start assembling centrifuges fabricated at its German and Dutch factories at Tricastin this summer. The first centrifuge cascades at the GBII plant are scheduled to begin operating during the first half of 2009. Areva has been training employees on the operation of the GBII plant, particularly at the Capenhurst enrichment plant in the UK. In April 2007, GBII received a licence to operate at up to 8.2 million SWU per year, enriching uranium up to a maximum of 6%. The GBII will replace Areva's existing Georges Besse gas diffusion enrichment plant at Tricastin.