Paris, France — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 16 September 2011 – French nuclear group Areva has announced that it is to temporarily shut down two uranium conversion plants in France during November and December.
“The temporary shutdown of the two plants, which employ around 570 staff, comes after a sharp fall in orders from Japanese nuclear power producers in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster,” said a spokeswoman at Areva.
“This decision is justified by events that occurred in Japan and that are reducing the delivery needs of Japanese power groups. Against this background we deemed it unreasonable to produce large amounts of converted uranium,” the spokeswoman said.
She added that the temporary shutdown would reduce estimated production to 10,880t in 2011, down from an initial goal of 13,400t for the full year.
The plants “’ which are owned by Areva’s subsidiary Comurhex, and are located in the southern French cities of Tricastin and Narbonne “’ chemically prepare uranium before it is enriched to become fuel for nuclear power plants.
“The Comurhex staff will take holidays or training during that period,” the spokeswoman said.
Areva’s new chief executive Luc Oursel is due to give a strategy update in December and to announce new financial targets that will factor in the impact of Fukushima on worldwide needs for existing nuclear power plants and new projects.