Framatome Extends Long-Term Nuclear Cooperation in Hungary

On 12 September 2023, Framatome (ENS Corporate Member) announced the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Energy of Hungary, establishing the groundwork for an even enhanced strategic partnership within the nuclear sector.

This MoU serves as the basis for expanding collaboration between Framatome and Hungary across diverse nuclear-related areas, including education and skills development, research and development (R&D), the adoption of innovative technologies, the nuclear fuel supply, and the management of long-term operations.

Without nuclear power plants, there is no security of supply, external exposures cannot be reduced, and climate protection commitments cannot be met. At EU level, Hungary is one of the most committed supporters of the cooperation of the Member States promoting the use of nuclear energy.

Hungary Energy Minister Csaba Lantos said.

Through collaboration with European VVER licensees, Framatome is looking for a solution to eliminate difficulties in the supply of critical services and to reduce risks and import exposure.

This MOU confirms our commitment to contribute to the diversification and security of fuel supply for the safe and reliable operation of the existing nuclear fleet and for preparing for the next generation of nuclear energy.

stated Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome.

Read the full Framatome Press Release.

The importance of the diversification of nuclear fuel suppliers has been often underlined by the Euratom Supply Agency (ENS Member) which reminded us that diversification is paramount to prevent excessive dependence of EU users on any single third-country supplier and to achieve the security of supply of nuclear fuels in the medium and long term.

According to ESA, around 10% of the EU gross nuclear electricity capacity is fully dependent on the supply of Russian fuel. These concern operators in BulgariaCzech RepublicHungary and Slovakia and one operator (out of two) in Finland.

While an alternative fuel design for Russian-made VVER-1000 reactors already exists and is employed (e.g. in Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Bulgaria), the VVER-440 reactors are fully dependent on Russian fuel assemblies at the moment. The concerned utilities have fresh fuel in their stock and could operate for 1-2 years.

ENS, together with Euratom Supply Agency, focused on nuclear fuel supply chains and production in Europe in the article “Eastern Europe And The Future Of Nuclear Fuel Supply” and in the interview with Euratom Supply Agency Director General, Agnieszka Kazmierczak.