The EDF group announced Thursday the creation of a new subsidiary, Nuward, to develop and export a small modular nuclear reactor SMR whose start of construction in France, for the first of the range, is planned in seven years.
In France, the government has made the development of these small innovative reactors a priority in its nuclear revival, with the parallel construction of powerful reactors to supplement the existing nuclear fleet with six new EPR2s.
EDF has been working for more than a year on a preliminary project for a small reactor intended to be mass-produced and to position itself in the global race for this new generation of reactors: 70 to 80 SMR reactor projects (for "small modular
in English) and AMR (
advanced modular reactor
) already coexist, notably in the United States, Canada and Russia.
All of them are aimed at the replacement market for old coal, oil or gas-fired power stations around the world.
More than 600 engineers and experts are expected to contribute to the development of the new SMR
100% owned by EDF, the new subsidiary, which wants to "
become the European leader in terms of SMR
will recruit 150 employees by 2024
is now committed to the detailed preliminary project, in line with its objective of starting construction in 2030 for the reference power plant in France
,” EDF said in a press release.
In compliance with the nuclear licensing process in force in France, the safety options file (DOS) will be submitted to the French Nuclear Safety Authority in July 2023
”, adds EDF.
As the location of the reference plant has not yet been chosen, Nuward will participate in the evaluation and selection of potential sites.
In total, more than 600 engineers and experts should contribute to the development of the new SMR, including within the EDF group and with its partners, such as the CEA, TechnicAtome, Naval Group but also Framatome and Tractebel.
According to Xavier Ursat, Executive Director of the EDF Group in charge of Engineering and New Nuclear Projects, quoted in the press release, “
Nuward was created to serve our ambition to rapidly develop this technology
will be able to develop a product ready in time for its market launch