Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with French state-controlled utility EDF to collaborate in the civil nuclear industry.


The MoU is expected to strengthen ties between the French and Japanese nuclear power industries, MHI said.

Under the terms of the MOU, MHI intends to acquire minority stake alongside EDF in Areva NP.

In 2015, Areva agreed to acquire up to 75% stake in Areva’s reactor business, Areva NP, for $2.2bn.

EDF, however, later announced about seeking potential partners for selling minority stake in the unit.

EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said: "With this MoU paving the way to a global and strategic agreement, EDF and MHI intend to strengthen their own long standing experiences and skills in building and operating safely nuclear generation plants.

"I am fully confident that this opportunity will lay the foundations for a joint and successful promotion of new nuclear projects in the global market and will also benefit the entire nuclear energy industry in France and in Japan."

As part of the MOU, EDF will participate in Atmea, a MHI-Areva joint venture that offers the new generation III+, medium-power pressurized water reactor ATMEA1.

EDF will also be responsible for execution of ATMEA1 projects in particular in Turkey and Vietnam.

MHI said that the EDF’s participation in ATMEA would allow the future development and promotion of the technology.

As part of the MOU, MHI and EDF will leverage respective technologies and special expertise in the global market in order to strengthen potential broader range of collaborative ties.

MHI president Miyanaga said: "We look forward to cooperating with EDF in the civil nuclear fields comprising the development of the first ATMEA project, ATMEA 1, which will become one of the most advanced nuclear power plants in the world."

Image: EDF’s nuclear power plant in France. Photo: courtesy of Stefan Kühn/Wikipedia.