French nuclear industry due for overhaul
Energy policy/overhaul of the nuclear industry – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris, 3 June 2015
The French President had a meeting this morning with the Prime Minister and the ministers responsible for energy, the economy, finance and foreign affairs to examine EDF and AREVA’s plan to overhaul the French nuclear industry. The industry is essential to our country’s energy independence, the success of the energy transition and the production of decarbonized energy.
From now on, the activities of design, project management and the commercialization of EDF and AREVA’s new reactors will be brought together into a dedicated company. This move will enable an ambitious export policy and the future renewal of the French nuclear fleet.
Pending a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with AREVA, EDF intends to become the majority shareholder in the joint subsidiary AREVA NP, which brings together the industrial activities of reactor construction, fuel assembly and [the provision of] services to the base established. AREVA will retain a strategic stake, through a shareholders’ pact.
The plan should also enable EDF and AREVA to hold talks with a view to reducing the risks of the major projects which are conducted by AREVA NP, in the interest of all players in the French industry.
It safeguards the integrity of AREVA NP and its professions. It guarantees the viability of the overhauled AREVA Group on the basis of stable commercial contracts with its clients. It ensures continuity between fuel cycle activities and those of reactor construction and maintenance, while complying with the highest safety standards.
AREVA and EDF have said they will finalize the principles of the plan within a month, in accordance with the rules of governance and under the usual conditions for this type of project.
In this framework, the state – as a prudent investor – will recapitalize AREVA to the necessary level.
Finally, the government reaffirms that the group’s performance plan will be implemented in the framework of industrial dialogue respectful of the women and men working in the company, with no compulsory redundancies. All the skills necessary for this modernization of the French nuclear industry will be safeguarded./.