On 24 June 2022, Oano signed a major contract worth 250 million euros with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) for the transport and processing of 731 spent fuel assemblies in France from the Puxian Reactor in Japan.
The contract was awarded to authorize and develop these transportation and processing operations following the exchange of notes between the French and Japanese governments on June 15, 2022.
Under the terms of the contract, Oano will continue to perform all technical work required to transport 111 metric tons of material. This will include the provision of a transport fleet that complies with national and international nuclear and occupational safety regulations, as well as the implementation of maritime transport with long-term partners with proven expertise.
The contract also covers spent fuel treatment and recycling operations at the Orano La Hague plant in Manche Province (Normandy, France), as well as the treatment of final waste to be shipped back to Japan. Materials extracted during industrial operations can be recycled to provide low-carbon electricity for the French and European power grids. In France, 10% of nuclear power generation comes from recycled materials.
Pascal Aubret, Senior Executive Vice President, Orano's Recycling business unit, said: "The signing of this contract confirms the relevance of spent fuel disposal as a responsible and efficient nuclear material management solution for our customers. It highlights Orano La Hague's international influence. Facilities and their excellence. This successful outcome is also a reward for all the work and effort put into this project by our teams in Japan and France."
Frederic De Agostini, Senior Executive Vice President, Nuclear Packaging and Services Business Unit, commented, "This award from JAEA reinforces our long-standing partnership with our Japanese partner. Orano NPS(Nuclear Services and Packages) has internationally recognized knowledge - how to design and approve packaging by competent authorities, as well as transport nuclear materials. This unique expertise enables us to come up with a solution that is safe, reliable and perfectly adapted to our customers' needs."