NUWARD-Tractebel Strategic Partnership to Develop SMR Technology

NUWARD, EDF and Tractebel signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement on June 15, 2023, to strengthen and extend their collaboration in the development of the NUWARD Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology.

For over 50 years, Tractebel nuclear experts have supported the EDF Group in designing and operating the French nuclear fleet and in building reactors in France and abroad. The collaboration between Tractebel and EDF started in 2021. Tractebel actively contributed to the finalization of the conceptual design phase and has worked on the nuclear island and the conventional part of the plant for the basic design phase.

The partners have now decided to deepen and extend their collaboration in the long run. In March 2023, EDF created its subsidiary NUWARD and began the basic design phase of the NUWARD SMR project. It resulted in a significant increase in the human resources required for the project.

To support this development, Tractebel will allocate more resources to NUWARD SMR in all the fields of nuclear engineering. Around 50 engineers from Tractebel are currently working on the NUWARD SMR project. This number is expected to double in the coming years.

“Tractebel has been leading innovation in SMR for the past five years. We are convinced that this technology will play a key role in the energy transition in Europe and worldwide,” says Denis Dumont, Chief Global Nuclear Officer, Tractebel. “The cooperation agreement with NUWARD reinforces our commitment to the development of the first EU SMR technology. Tractebel brings a European and industrial perspective to NUWARD. Our engineers have worked on projects in several European countries to investigate SMRs’ potential to decarbonize heavy industries and retrofit coal power plants. We will leverage this experience to extend the industrial applications of the NUWARD SMR technology and accompany NUWARD in its projects outside France to help Europe reach carbon neutrality by 2050.”

“Tractebel has a proven track record of supporting nuclear stakeholders in their complex projects. That is why the company is a key partner for NUWARD, alongside the other partners. The competition for skilled workers has become fierce within the nuclear industry. Building a Europe-wide team for the NUWARD SMR project is crucial to support our ambition in positioning NUWARD SMR as the European benchmark for small modular reactors,” adds Renaud Crassous, NUWARD Executive President.

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