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Press release | International | Energies | Nuclear energy
On September 17, 2019, during the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, CEA, EDF and Westinghouse Electric Company signed a framework agreement to explore potential cooperation on small modular reactor (SMR) development. Worldwide demand for low carbon- electricity generation in the 300-400 MWe range is an important market segment that the parties strongly believe their unparalleled experience in nuclear fuel and reactor design, and operation can address.
Under the agreement, the three will examine the possibility of combining the long-standing pressurised water reactor (PWR) expertise from both the French NUWARDTM initiative (supported by Naval Group and TechnicAtome together with CEA and EDF) and the Westinghouse SMR design, featuring the industry’s only passive safety technology in operation, to meet the growing world demand for decarbonized, competitive and safe electricity.
As part of this international cooperation framework, the parties will also pursue regulatory and design standardization, which are key for the implementation of a successful SMR design.
The detailed project roadmap will be confirmed in early 2020.
On concluding the framework agreement, Westinghouse, CEA and EDF made the following statements:
Westinghouse Electric Company President and CEO Patrick Fragman stated: “Westinghouse has a long tradition of developing cutting edge nuclear technologies that the market demands. This agreement provides the opportunity to continue to work closely with EDF and our French partners as we all leverage our collective nuclear design and operating experience in addressing this important energy market.”
Speaking on behalf of CEA, Chairman François Jacq stated: « Targeting mainly the export market that imposes the harmonization of design, safety and operating standards, CEA consider this framework agreement as a key gate to open international cooperation with the main players in nuclear development domain.”
Speaking on behalf of EDF, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Lévy stated: "Westinghouse is a long-standing partner of EDF and of the French nuclear industry. Our combined unique set of skills and breadth of experience, notably on licensing of new technologies, is a major asset in the development of a safe, competitive and innovative SMR design, aimed at accelerating the decarbonisation of the world’s energy mix."
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.