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Nuclear: French firm offers 70% of new reactor work to UK suppliers

French nuclear reactor builder AREVA today invited British firms to supply up to 70% of the engineering components that will be used in its new UK plants.

AREVA’s EPRTM  reactor is one of two being evaluated by the regulators for use in the UK, and the firm held a conference for suppliers today to illustrate the opportunities available.

“Although we shall manufacture the main heavy components ourselves, that represents only some 30% of the total nuclear island equipment by value,” said AREVA NP president Luc Oursel.

“Yes we have current suppliers, but we need significantly more if we are to deliver our target of 30% of the global new build programme. The UK is in the van, in the first wave of a global new-build renaissance and UK suppliers can use this opportunity to open up global opportunities, to join AREVA and start national, go global”.

 Speaking at the event, Energy and Climate Change Minister Mike O’Brien added: “AREVA’s plan to open the door to UK companies shows the real business opportunities of building new nuclear power stations in this country. We operate in a global market place and competition will be fierce so it will be up to UK businesses to step up to the plate and show they can deliver.

“The Government is also doing its bit by ensuring we have the skills and capacity to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.  Our £140M strategy to support science, technology, engineering and maths in schools is one example of the work we are doing.”

Oursel said that AREVA estimated the UK new build market to be in the region of 20-25 GW, with the first wave of new builds being dictated by those developing sites early. “The first wave is likely to be some 4-10 EPRTM reactors. This is a significant new build programme. We expect EDF to construct some 4 AREVA EPRTM reactors and we expect to construct up to six more.”

The firm has set up a dedicated website for potential suppliers to register.

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