AREVA’s Georges Besse II Plant Starts Uranium Enrichment Process

- Edited By Tom Lamar -

More than 100 customers from 14 countries joined Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA, for yesterday’s inauguration of the group’s new Georges Besse II uranium enrichment plant.

All eyes were on the first container of uranium as it entered the plant, marking a decisive step in this major construction project. The teams will now be concentrating on increasing the plant’s production capacity by adding further modules. Full capacity is expected in 2016, two years ahead of schedule.

“This plant will enhance AREVA’s position as a major player in the world’s enrichment market, of which it has a share of almost 25 percent,” said Anne Lauvergeon.

The Georges Besse II plant is located on the Tricastin nuclear site in Southern France. It will have a production capacity of 7.5 million SWU (Separative Work Units), which could be increased to 11 million SWU. The AREVA group’s new enrichment plant will use state-of-the-art centrifugation technology which has the advantage of requiring fifty times less electricity than the gaseous diffusion process currently used in France.

With a price tag of almost three billion euros, the Georges Besse II plant is one of the largest industrial investment projects currently underway in France.

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