Anne Lauvergeon opens an innovative facility at the Chalon/St-Marcel Technical Center of AREVA

News brief

On February 7th, 2011, Anne Lauvergeon, AREVA's Chief Executive Officer, and Gilles Perrault, Director of the French Technical Center, opened a highly innovative welding facility that implements a process used for the first time in the nuclear industry.

Anne Lauvergeon officially launched the first test phase of the facility - the only one of its kind in the world - at a ceremony attended by many MPs and councillors from the Burgundy region. Two or three years from now, when development work is completed, this welding process could be used to make and install heavy components for future nuclear power plants.

The process, which combines the use of a laser with the traditional arc-welding method, is aimed at improving weld quality and reducing welding times. Although the process is already known in the automotive industry, its use in the nuclear field is unprecedented.

 As she launched the test phase, Anne Lauvergeon declared: “AREVA's Chalon/St-Marcel site was instrumental in the growth and success of the French nuclear industry and now proves its vitality and innovative capability once again”.

The “Technical Center” of the Products & Technology BU (part of the Reactors & Services BG), works to apply the results of basic R&D to the group's products and services, and collaborates with universities and laboratories to promote innovation. Its five sites in France and Germany are each recognized as centers of expertise in their specialist fields. The Chalon/St-Marcel site is specialized in welding technology.