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The CEA and the British National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) strengthen their cooperation in civil nuclear research

On Thursday the 3rd March, during the Franco-British summmit in Amiens, the British National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and the CEA signed, a letter of intent to strengthen their collaboration in the field of nuclear energy research.

Published on 7 March 2016

This agreement acknowledges that both nations have several points in common linked to their history of nuclear research. Both have expertise in the fuel cycle, including reprocessing, and both face the same issues regarding the management of waste and decommissioning. For decades France and the United Kingdom have both run large programmes involving the design, construction and operating of nuclear reactors. The agreement signed in Amiens capitalises on these shared characteristics to identify cooperation opportunities which would benefit both countries. These operations may include the following areas:

  • The optimised use of research facilities and the sharing of expertise in research and development in the civil nuclear field in both countries;
  • Cooperation on exisiting technologies in the civil nuclear power sector, whether that be in the design, management or decommissioning of facilities;
  • Cooperation on R&D into the fuel cycle and the long-term management of nuclear material in the context of future, international scenarios concerning nuclear energy;
  • Development of nuclear reactors of the future (generation IV) and associated facilities.

Following the signature of the agreement in Amiens, the Administrateur Général​ of the CEA, Daniel Verwaerde, stated that: 

Civil nuclear energy is once again a vital subject in the Franco-British relationship.  France and the United Kingdom have a very similar history of nuclear research and they face the same challenges. Strengthened cooperation between the CEA and the NNL was therefore logical and even essential; it is the scientific compliment to our shared industrial ambitions for this energy. I am delighted that this commit​ment has been finalised during the Franco-British summit. This confirms that nuclear energy is a fundamental issue in the relationship between our two countries . Furthermore, during future summits we will report on the progress of our projects. In future, the CEA-NNL cooperation will contribute to maintaining our respective skills, and the better use of resources as well as the sharing of experiences. It is essential in order to offer both our countries scientifically robust solutions for sustainable nuclear energy.

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