Areva of France and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan announced that their newly-created joint venture will be known as Atmea. The joint venture will develop an "advanced Generation-III" nuclear power reactor, the Atmea 1.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture on 19 October 2006 in Tokyo. At the time, the companies said they would collaborate on the design of a new light-water reactor, but did not specify which type. Since then, they have been working together to define the conceptual basis for it. Areva and Mitsubishi signed a memorandum of understanding in July setting the framework of the joint venture.
Areva and Mitsubishi have now said that the Atmea joint venture will develop, market, license and sell an 1100 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR), which will combine technologies of both companies. The reactor would be marketed at emerging countries wishing to begin nuclear power programs, as well as established markets such as the USA and Europe.
A statement said Atmea 1 would "offer operators solid Generaion-III safety features." The partners aim to have the Atmea 1 reactor design ready for licensing application in less than three years.
Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of Areva, said, "By founding Atmea, we combine the experience of two leaders in reactor development, construction, licensing and marketing. We thus provide the ideal framework for the development and sale of a reactor whose size fits into almost every grid."
Mitsubishi's President, Kazuo Tsukuda, added, "By bringing together the state-of-the-art technologies of both companies, we are confident that Atmea 1 will be the leading plant in the mid-size reactor range, and will be successful in attracting interest from our clients."
Beyond Atmea 1, the companies hope to cooperate on equipment procurement, services, used nuclear fuel management, and development of fast-breeder and high-temperature reactors.
Areva is France's national nuclear engineering company and the biggest of its kind in the world, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is a world leader in large components for nuclear plants, particularly steam generators as used in PWRs. Mitsubishi also provided large forgings for the pressure vessel of the PWR under construction by Areva and Siemens at Olkiluoto in Finland.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
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