Atmea joint venture gets EC approval

30 October 2007

The European Commission announced on 30 October that it has cleared the creation of a joint venture between Areva of France and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) of Japan. The joint venture - to be known as Atmea - will be responsible for the design, licensing, certification, marketing, sale, construction and commissioning of a single type of 'nuclear island' to be installed in nuclear power plants - the reactor, coolant system and the steam generation units. The nuclear island to be produced by the Atmea joint venture will include a 1100 MWe pressurized water reactor, which will combine technologies of both companies. The reactor would be marketed at emerging countries wishing to begin nuclear power programs, as well as established markets such as the USA and Europe. Both Areva and MHI would continue to offer nuclear islands with higher capacity independently of each other. The commission concluded that the activities of Areva and MHI are geographically complementary, since Areva is mainly active in Europe and MHI in Japan. In addition, the commission decided that it was unlikely the joint venture would be used to strengthen the competitiveness of each parent company as Atmea's activities would be limited to one particular type of nuclear island, which is technically different from those designs offered separately by Areva and MHI. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture on 19 October 2006 in Tokyo. They then signed a memorandum of understanding in July 2007 to set the framework of the joint venture. The venture is to be based in Paris, with Stefan vom Scheidt as CEO and Makoto Kanda as his deputy.

Further information

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

European Commission

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