French nuclear company Areva is to work with Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JFNL) to bring the Rokkasho-mura recycling plant into commercial operation under a new strategic agreement. Franco-Japanese partnerships have been further strengthened by the signature of a cooperation between Areva and Atox.
|The agreements were signed during a state visit to Japan by French president Francois Hollande, which saw Hollande and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe exchange cooperation agreements and reiterate the two countries' dedication to nuclear power cooperation (Image: kantei.go.jp)
A joint statement signed in the presence of French president Francois Hollande and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe pledges ongoing cooperation between Areva and JNFL in preparation for the commercial startup of the Rokkasho-mura plant, including active testing, the start-up itself, capacity ramp-up and plant optimisation. The two companies will also work together to facilitate the efficient operation of JNFL's KA vitrification facility. Areva will also use the technical expertise gained from its long-term experience of operating the Melox mixed oxide fuel (MOX) fabrication plant in France to support JNFL in constructing and commissioning its own MOX plant.
The statement also sees the two companies pledge to share information on safety improvements at their respective reprocessing plants and to work towards strengthening a strategic partnership between the La Hague and Rokkasho reprocessing plants. The partnership will also include "joint actions for the development of new business of mutual interest for both parties."
Commissioning of the Rokkasho plant, which is based on the Areva's La Hague technology, has been making slow progress since 2006. The accompanying vitrification unit was designed by JNFL, and was successfully demonstrated in tests earlier this year.
A second cooperation agreement sees Areva and Japanese nuclear maintenance company Atox agreeing to work together to strengthen a two-year old relationship on dismantling and cleanup operations. This will be achieved in the context of a future joint venture aimed at developing innovative solutions for environmental remediation, primarily aimed at the Fukushima site and area.
Details have yet to be finalised but Atox said that it is planning to locate the joint venture at its development centre in Kashiwa in Chiba prefecture.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News