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AREVA invests 610 million euro in new uranium conversion plant

Press release

May 21, 2007

AREVA today announced the launch of the Comurhex II project which will see the group build new uranium conversion facilities on the Malvési site in Narbonne and Tricastin. Through this 610 million euro investment, AREVA aims to maintain its position as world no. 1 for conversion* within a context of global nuclear energy.

Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA, says: "Comurhex II is a key element in our strategy of offering customers a complete range of products and services to operate their nuclear reactors. AREVA is the first industrial player to invest heavily in the uranium chemistry sector to renew and upgrade its conversion facilities. Comurhex II, along with other large scale projects such as the future Georges Besse II enrichment plant and the modernization of FBFC fuel fabrication facilities, will strengthen the group’s position at the front end of the fuel cycle and will reinforce our integrated business model offering".

COMURHEX II integrates technological innovations from major R&D programs and return of experience from processes in operation for over forty years. Nuclear safety and reducing the impact on the environment were top priorities when designing the project. These future facilities will also lead to major savings of water and energy consumption and reduce effluents.

The groundwork of the Comurhex II project has taken 150,000 hours of engineering over the past three years. Four hundred people will work on the site which will be launched in summer 2007. First industrial production is scheduled for 2012, based on 15,000 metric tons of uranium per year. This figure may be increased to 21,000 tons to meet market requirements.


* The conversion of the uranium ore into hexafluoride is a key stage in the fuel cycle before enrichment and the fabrication of the fuel required for nuclear reactors.

 

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With manufacturing facilities in 41 countries and a sales network in more than 100 countries, AREVA offers customers reliable technological solutions for CO2-free power generation and electricity transmission and distribution. We are the world leader in nuclear power and the only company to cover all industrial activities in this field. Our 61.000 employees are committed to continuous improvement on a daily basis, making sustainable development the focal point of the group’s industrial strategy. AREVA’s businesses help meet the 21st century’s greatest challenges: making energy available to all, protecting the planet, and acting responsibly towards future generations. http://www.areva.com/