Initially, AREVA will sponsor two PhDs in Materials research, and this will be followed by other collaboration and participation in a pan-European network of academic nuclear research.

The doctorates will involve studies in France, Manchester and also in West Cumbria where the University has established the Dalton Cumbrian Facility with experimental capabilities for radiation science research.

AREVA UK chairman Alain-Pierre Raynaud said the company now has a major presence in the UK both in the design and construction of new nuclear power stations and in the treatment of used fuel.

AREVA R&D senior executive vice president Martha Heitzmann said the company is pleased to enter into the partnership with the Dalton Nuclear Institute, which it appreciates for the Institute’s scientific and technological excellence as well as for R&D business model.

"The new R&D facilities at the University of Manchester and at the Dalton Cumbrian Facility are world-class, and compliment our own facilities," Heitzmann said.