Areva CEO Oursel says nuclear market is due to pick up

Areva’s CEO said he expects a recovery soon in global interest in nuclear projects, adding it will bid this year with EDF for Poland's first nuclear project.

Post-Fukushima, some countries announced plans to quit the nuclear industry.

Luc Oursel

"It has obviously slowed down a certain number of projects but when we look now as a global situation, we think this will pick up soon," Luc Oursel, Areva's chief executive, told reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear industry event in Seoul.

Except for Germany - which decided to shut eight nuclear power plants - and some other countries, most with nuclear power plants and projects were continuing their nuclear programmes, he said, according to Reuters.

“Nuclear is going to continue to play a very important role in the future. Our estimation is that today we have more or less 400 GWof nuclear plants, and we think this will grow to 600 GW in 2030.”

Oursel said Areva, which designs and supplies nuclear reactors, would jointly bid with French utility EDF for Poland's nuclear power plant technology tender, expected this year. Poland aims to build a 3 GW station by the early 2020s.

Areva was also engaged in talks with various utilities that were increasingly concerned about raw material procurement, he said. Areva is the world's second largest uranium producer, with an output of 9,142 metric tons in 2011, according to its website.

China National Nuclear Corp is in talks to buy a stake in uranium mines owned by the company as the world’s biggest energy consumer prepares to resume approval of new reactor construction.

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