Framatome signs contracts with Sizewell C

April 18, 2024, 3:02PMNuclear News
A computer-generated rendering of the Sizewell site on the Suffolk coast. Sizewell A and B are to the left and center (respectively) in this image; the section to the right is the Sizewell C area. (Image: EDF Energy)

French nuclear developer Framatome is slated to deliver key equipment for Sizewell C Ltd.’s two large reactors planned for the United Kingdom’s Suffolk coast.

The agreement, reportedly worth multiple billions of euros, was announced this week and will involve Framatome from the design phase until commissioning. The company also agreed to a long-term fuel supply deal. Framatome is 80.5 percent owned by France’s EDF and 19.5 percent owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Relearning how to build nuclear in the U.K.

February 26, 2024, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. (Photo: EDF)

The effort to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, England, has been “prodigious, lengthy, and increasingly costly.” So says London-based energy, business, and environment writer Stanley Reed in his recent New York Times article, “Why Britain Is Struggling with Nuclear Power.”

Transformer fire shuts down nuclear reactors in France

February 13, 2024, 12:30PMNuclear News
Chinon nuclear power plant in France. (Photo: Wargus/Wikimapia)

A fire this past weekend at Chinon nuclear power plant in France forced two reactors to be shut down. According to initial reports, a transformer in a nonnuclear sector of Unit 3 caught fire.

The incident occurred February 10 in the early morning hours, local time, and the fire was quickly extinguished.

Final bids submitted for new reactor at Czech plant

November 2, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Dukovany nuclear power plant. (Photo: INSP)

Elektrárna Dukovany II (EDU II), a subsidiary of Czech utility ČEZ, has received final bids for the construction of a fifth reactor at the Dukovany plant, as well as nonbinding bids for three additional units to be sited at Dukovany and at Temelín, the Czech Republic’s other nuclear power facility. (Dukovany currently houses four Russian VVER-440/V213 pressurized water reactors, while Temelín is home to two VVER-1000/V320s.)

U.K. picks six to advance in SMR competition

October 4, 2023, 12:08PMNuclear News

The U.K. government has chosen six companies to participate in the next stage of its small modular reactor competition: EDF, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Holtec Britain Limited, NuScale Power, Rolls-Royce SMR (the only real home team), and Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited. According to the government’s October 2 announcement, the advanced technologies offered by these firms are “the most able to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s.”

EDF, JAVYS ink new nuclear pact for Slovakia

September 6, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Pavol Štuller, JAVYS chairman and chief executive officer, on the left, and Vakisasai Ramany, EDF senior vice president in charge of new nuclear development, sign an agreement in Paris.

Slovakia’s state-owned nuclear company JAVYS has announced the signing of a framework cooperation agreement (FCA) with France’s EDF for further cooperation “in the field of nuclear energy and in the implementation of projects aimed at development of large power reactors and small modular reactors.” Currently, the Slovakian nuclear fleet consists of two VVER-440/V213 pressurized water reactors at Bohunice, and two at Mochovce (with two more units on their way).

The signing took place on August 25 during an official visit to Paris by Slovakia’s minister of economy Peter Dovhun.

France invests over €100 million to revive nuclear sector

June 13, 2023, 2:48PMNuclear News

France’s Ministry of Energy Transition last Friday announced an investment of more than €100 million ($108 million) in civil nuclear sector training, research, and innovation in alignment with President Emmanuel Macron’s October 2021 unveiling of the “France 2030” investment plan, as well as his February 2022 call for a “rebirth of France’s nuclear industry.” (Among other things, Macron’s envisioned rebirth includes the construction of at least six new nuclear reactors and life extensions for the country’s existing units.)

French, European power analysis for first quarter

April 19, 2023, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Although the first quarter of the year saw some of the French nuclear fleet return to service, it was not at the rate originally anticipated, according to data analysis company EnAppSys. France’s nuclear availability, the company noted, was expected to reach a maximum of 50 GW by the middle of the first quarter, but that goal was not reached due to several reasons, including the need for additional repairs and maintenance when stress corrosion cracking first appeared in several reactors last year. Workforce strikes at nuclear operator Électricité de France also led to widespread employee walkouts from nuclear power plants.

Westinghouse to supply fuel for Dukovany

April 3, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News
Bohdan Zronek, ČEZ board member and director of the firm’s nuclear energy division; Tarik Choho, president of Westinghouse’s nuclear fuel division; and Aziz Dag, senior vice president of BWR and VVER fuel for Westinghouse (seated, left to right) signed the agreement. Also present were David Benes, ČEZ Group CEO, and Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse CEO. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse has signed an agreement with ČEZ, owner and operator of the Czech Republic’s nuclear power plants, to supply VVER-440 fuel assemblies to the Dukovany facility, the American firm announced March 29. Fuel deliveries will commence in 2024, replacing Russia’s TVEL fuel, with an anticipated term of seven years. One of the Czech Republic’s two nuclear power plants, Dukovany houses four Russian-supplied VVER-440/V213 reactors.

EDF plans to extend life of Hartlepool, Heysham 1

March 16, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
EDF Energy’s Hartlepool nuclear plant, in northeastern England. (Photo: Wikipedia/Geni)

EDF Energy, owner and operator of the United Kingdom’s nuclear reactor fleet, announced last week that it intends to keep its Hartlepool and Heysham 1 stations in operation to March 2026—two years past their previously scheduled 2024 retirement dates. EDF added that an additional 12 months of operation beyond 2026 is being contemplated.

EDF, Respect Energy to collaborate on nuclear projects in Poland

January 20, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
An illustration of EDF’s NUWARD small modular reactor technology. (Image: EDF)

France’s Électricité de France and Polish renewable energy trader Respect Energy have signed a cooperation agreement to develop nuclear power projects in Poland based on EDF’s NUWARD small modular reactor technology, the companies jointly announced last Friday.

Countries change nuclear policies in response to Ukraine war

January 6, 2023, 7:09AMNuclear News

As a direct result of the war in Ukraine, several countries have changed their policies on nuclear energy—even those with long-standing nuclear phase-out plans. This February will mark one year since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, leading to ongoing war and turning pandemic-era energy shortages into a global energy crisis. Spiking gas prices and concerns about electricity supply during the cold winter months have thrown many governments into a frenzy as they try to ease the impact on their citizens.

Countries in the process of phasing out their nuclear power had been prepared to increase their reliance on natural gas. But as Russia supplies 40 percent of the European Union’s natural gas, nations with no reliable alternative now face sky-high energy prices—even energy poverty. Across Europe and beyond, nuclear power plants slated for permanent closure have been given second chances to shore up energy supply. Nuclear power has also claimed a bigger spotlight in countries’ strategies for energy independence.

U.K. to provide close to £700 million for Sizewell C

December 7, 2022, 3:28PMNuclear News
A rendering of the Sizewell site on the Suffolk coast. Sizewell A and B are to the left and center (respectively) in the image; the section to the right is Sizewell C. (Image: EDF Energy)

The British government has announced an investment of £679 million (about $828 million) in the proposed Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, England, confirming chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt’s remarks on the project in his November 17 Autumn Statement.

Bids in for new unit at Dukovany

December 7, 2022, 7:01AMNuclear News
The Dukovany nuclear power plant. (Photo: CEZ Group)

A Westinghouse-Bechtel team, France’s EDF, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have all submitted their initial bids for securing the contract to build a fifth reactor at the Czech Republic’s Dukovany plant, Czech utility ČEZ has announced.

“There’s going to be a cliff”: Preparing an international SMR supply chain

November 3, 2022, 12:32PMNuclear News
Participating in the forum were (from left) John Hopkins (NuScale Power), Renaud Crassous (EDF), Daniel Poneman (Centrus Energy), Adriana Cristina Serquis (CNEA), and Boris Schucht (Urenco).

The nuclear industry leaders assembled in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss small modular reactor supply chains agreed that lost generation capacity from the expected retirement of hundreds or thousands of coal power plants over the next decade—a cliff, in one panelist’s words—represents an opportunity that developers of SMRs and advanced reactors are competing to meet.

“I think in total 80 projects are ongoing,” said Boris Schucht, panel moderator and chief executive officer of Urenco Group, as he opened the forum. “Of course not all of them will win, and we will discuss today what is needed so that they can be successful.”

Westinghouse to build Poland’s first nuclear reactors; KHNP may get separate deal

October 31, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News


Poland has chosen Westinghouse Electric Company to supply the reactors for its initial nuclear power plant, as the Central European nation seeks to lessen its dependence on domestic coal and Russian imports for its energy supply. On Friday, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the decision on Twitter, confirming last week’s reports that Westinghouse’s AP1000 technology was the government’s likely choice.

“A strong [Polish-American] alliance guarantees the success of our joint initiatives,” Morawiecki tweeted. “After talks with [vice president Kamala Harris and energy secretary Jennifer Granholm], we confirm our nuclear energy project will use the reliable, safe technology of [Westinghouse].”

Competing with the American firm for the job were Électricité de France and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power. In October 2021, EDF submitted an offer to build four to six EPRs in Poland, while KHNP offered in April of this year to construct six APR1400 units.

Poland hints at choice for first nuclear build; Westinghouse sues KHNP

October 25, 2022, 2:58PMNuclear News

Poland’s deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin and U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm meet in Washington on October 23. (Photo:

Following a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sunday with secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm, Polish deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin told reporters that his nation is close to choosing the reactor supplier for its initial nuclear plant project, adding, according to Bloomberg, “There is a big chance that we will finally pick Westinghouse.”

And in a news release on the meeting from the Polish government, Sasin is quoted as saying, “The massive energy crisis that is currently affecting us means that we must quickly make decisions on building the country’s energy security based on new, clean, cheap, and reliable sources, and such a source is nuclear energy. We want the decisive decisions to be made as soon as possible. That is why we asked [Granholm] for a meeting, during which we will clarify all the issues that remain to be clarified.”

OPG, ČEZ to work together on SMR deployment

October 14, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
From left: Czech Republic deputy minister of industry and trade Petr Třešňák, ČEZ’s Tomáš Pleskač, OPG’s Ken Hartwick, Ontario minister of energy Todd Smith, and Canadian ambassador to the Czech Republic Ayesha Patricia Rekhi. (Photo: CNW Group/Ontario Power Generation)

Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Czech Republic–based ČEZ have agreed to collaborate on nuclear technology deployment, including small modular reactors, under a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday in Prague.

Ontario’s largest electricity generator and the European energy giant have both pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.