EDF creates a dedicated subsidiary for the Nuward SMR

On March 30, 2023, EDF announced the creation of its Nuward subsidiary, entirely dedicated to the same name’s small modular reactor (SMR). Having finalized the preliminary design, Nuward is now embarking on a detailed plan to start the construction of a first unit in France in 2030.

Nuward is a plant consisting of two 170 MWe pressurized water reactors. With this capacity (340 MWe), Nuward aims to replace the world’s old coal, oil, and gas-fired plants. A first “reference unit” in France will give credibility to this product for export.

A 100% EDF subsidiary

Unveiled in 2019, the plant has benefited from the expertise of the CEA, TechnicAtome, Naval Group, Framatome, and Tractebel. But NUWARD is indeed a wholly owned EDF subsidiary. “The NUWARD subsidiary will continue to work with its historical partners,” EDF said.

The creation of the NUWARD subsidiary will give a decisive boost to the development of our product,” said Renaud Crassous, President of NUWARD. We will fully integrate the levers of SMR, which include innovation, modularization, standardization, and mass production. We are determined to increase the speed of execution to ensure that the NUWARD™ design is ready on time and meets market expectations, with the first concrete for the reactor to be poured as early as 2030.”

The workforce should reach 150 employees by 2024, while the total workforce contributing to the development of NUWARD™ SMR should reach more than 600 engineers and experts, both at EDF and partners.

A Safety Options File in July 2023

Industrialists planning to operate a Basic Nuclear Installation (INB) may ask the ASN, even before embarking on the creation authorization procedure, for an opinion on all or part of the options they have selected to ensure the safety of their facility. This is the Safety Options File (DOS). The ASN then responds with an opinion sent to the applicant and provides for any additional studies and justifications that may be necessary to proceed with the application for authorization to create the facility. This file for the SMR will be submitted to the Safety Authority in July 2023, EDF has announced.■

Gaïc Le Gros (Sfen)