Some 20,000 tonnes of uranium will be supplied to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) over a ten year period, while another deal promotes fuel manufacturing with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
The uranium deal was finalised during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to France, in which various contracts were announced. According to China Daily, France and China have agreed to double the current level of bilateral trade by 2015.
New Japanese stakes in GB-II
Two Japanese utilities, Kyushu Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power have both acquired 1% stakes in the Societe d'Enrichissement du Tricastin (SET) – the operator of Areva's Georges Besse II centrifuge enrichment plant. The acquisitions was supported by the newly created entity Japan France Enrichment Investing (JFEI), which groups together all Japanese companies with a share in the facility and increases their joint share in SET.
The $3.5 billion fuel contract was signed by Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon and CGNPC chairman He Yu in front of both the French and Chinese presidents as part of a wider strategic partnership in civilian nuclear power between the two countries which will see cooperation in nuclear reactors, fuel recycling and uranium extraction.
This represents a deepening of Areva's involvement in China, it said, noting that it is already assisting the construction of nuclear power plants in addition to two of its own flagship EPR models at Taishan. In October 2008 Areva and CGNPC celebrated a round of deals that cemented their partnership for "the very long term."
In a further fuel agreement for the French company, Areva and CNNC have formed a 50/50 joint venture called CAST (CNNC Areva Shanghai Tubing), which will produce zirconium alloy tubes for fuel assemblies. Located in Shaghai, a plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2020.
Anne Lauvergeon commented, "These are major agreements. They represent a new stage in Areva's relations with its Chinese partners… Areva is strengthening its ties with the country's top nuclear power companies, CGNPC and CNNC, and consolidating its strategic position on the world's largest nuclear market."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News