During the recent visit of the French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to China, French nuclear company Areva signed a series of major agreements with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) for the development of a Franco-Chinese partnership in both civil nuclear and renewable energy.
In a consortium with Siemens, it also signed a contract to supply instrumentation and control systems for reactors Fuqing 5 and 6, which are 1000 MWe pressurised-water reactors due to start construction by CNNC in 2014. The reactors will be equipped with the TELEPERM.XS digital safety I&C system supplied by Areva.
This contract builds upon previous agreements for the supply of digital I&C systems to other Chinese reactors: Tianwan 1 and 2, Ling Ao 3 and 4 and Quinshan 1, already in operation, as well as Fuqing units 3 and 4 and the Taishan EPR reactors 1 and 2
currently under construction.
AREVA and CNNC have also signed a letter of intent in front end fuel activities which will study the creation of a joint-venture to develop a facility for the fabrication and the conversion of zirconium alloy in China. Used in nuclear fuel assembly production, these steps are key for the manufacturing of this essential material. This company could produce up to 600 tons of zirconium alloy annually by 2017,for the Chinese market.
The letter of intent is part of an industrial and technological co-operation which began between the two groups in 2010 with the creation of the CAST joint venture for the production of zirconium alloy cladding tubes.
In addition Areva and CGN, already partners in nuclear energy, signed a partnership agreement in the renewable energy sector. According to the terms of this agreement, the two companies will identify commercial opportunities in offshore wind, biomass, concentrated solar power, and energy storage, focusing their cooperation at first on the offshore wind field. AREVA will provide its expertise as an offshore wind turbine manufacturer, and CGN will contribute to future projects as an investor, developer, and operator of wind farms in China and Europe.