French contract joy for nuclear factory

Powering up: Springfields nuclear plant
Powering up: Springfields nuclear plant
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Nuclear fuel workers on the Fylde were given an early Christmas present with the signing of a lucrative deal.

Westinghouse Electric Company, which owns the Springfields Nuclear Fuel plant at Salwick, has been awarded a long-term contract to provide several thousand tons of fuel to nuclear reactors in France.

The contract with Electricité de France (EDF) will continue the current contract which was due to expire at the end of this year. No details of the cost were released but it will give Westinghouse the opportunity to go on providing a significant portion of EDF’s total nuclear fuel requirements.

Under the terms of the contract, Westinghouse will manufacture the fuel at its facilities at Springfields, Västerås, Sweden and in Juzbado, Spain.

Westinghouse has been an important supplier of fuel to the French nuclear fleet since 2003 and has delivered about 6,000 fuel assemblies to the plants.

A spokesman for the Salwick fuel makers which employs 1,200, said: “This is great news for Springfields as it enhances our excellent relationship with EDF and establishes us as a long-term supplier of Light Water Reactor fuel for them. The contract will help safeguard jobs going forward and enhances our already robust business plan.”

Yves Brachet, Westinghouse president for Europe said: “EDF is an important long-standing and valued customer, and we are delighted to continue supporting its fuel programme.

“We believe this most recent order reflects EDF’s high confidence in the quality, reliability and competitiveness of Westinghouse fuel.

“This long-term contract confirms EDF’s confidence in the reliability of Westinghouse fuel and our delivery capabilities worldwide,” said José Emeterio Gutiérrez, senior vice president, Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel.

“Westinghouse recognises the importance of security of supply to global customers and our successful track record in this area continues to provide the assurance customers are looking for in a fuel vendor.”

Westinghouse, part of the Toshiba group, is a single-source global nuclear fuel provider for pressurised water reactors (PWRs), including Russian-designed VVER reactors, as well as boiling water reactors (BWRs) and advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs).

It today provides nuclear fuel to 145 plants globally and has 10 nuclear fuel manufacturing locations.