Plant Operation

France / Belgium’s Tractebel To Cooperate On Long-Term Nuclear Operation

By David Dalton
26 January 2024

Country’s nuclear share remains highest in world

Belgium’s Tractebel To Cooperate On Long-Term Nuclear Operation
EDF is hoping to build the first in a series of new EPR2 nuclear power plants at the Penly site. Courtesy Sfen.

Belgium-based engineering company Tractebel and France’s Altrad Endel have signed a 10-year cooperation agreement to help France’s state-owned nuclear operator EDF carry out its long-term operation programme and to potentially provide nuclear services abroad.

The companies said in a joint statement that the agreement renews and reinforces their existing partnership.

Tractebel and Altrad Endel, an industrial maintenance and services company, have contributed for the past seven years to upgrading the French nuclear fleet, which provides more than 60% of France’s electricity generation, the highest proportion in the world.

President Emmanuel Macron announced plans in February 2022 for a “rebirth” of France’s nuclear industry with the possible construction of 14 EPR2 units and operating extensions for older nuclear plants from 40 years to 50 years or more.

EDF is aiming to begin preparatory works for a new EPR2 nuclear plant at the existing Penly nuclear site in northern France in mid-2024.

As part of EDF’s long-term operation programme Tractebel and Altrad Endel are already supporting EDF on the replacement of key components on some of its 56 reactor units.

“Tractebel and Altrad Endel have decided to extend their cooperation to better assist EDF with the major challenges of the fleet’s lifetime extension,” the statement said.

“The partners also intend to use the experience acquired in France to provide services abroad in the fields of civil engineering, mechanics, project management and construction for nuclear and energy projects,” it added.

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