Board of Directors of Orano approves project to extend the enrichment capacity of the Georges Besse 2 plant

The Board of Directors of Orano, at its meeting held today on October 19, 2023, has approved the investment in the project to extend the production capacity of the Georges Besse 2 uranium enrichment plant on the Tricastin site (Drôme et Vaucluse). With a forecast investment amount of 1.7 billion euros, this plan will enable Orano to increase its production capacities by more than 30 %, corresponding to 2.5 million SWUs*.

The project consists of building a further four modules identical to the fourteen existing modules with the same recognized, tried-and-tested technology and with a reduced environmental footprint. During the construction phase, the project will mobilize up to 1,000 people, with a large proportion of those involved being from companies based in the region. For Claude Imauven, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Orano, "In the current geopolitical context, the purpose of this increase in enrichment capacities is to strengthen Western energy sovereignty in France. Orano's decision responds to requirements expressed by our customers to strengthen their security of supply with production expected to start up as of 2028".

François Lurin, Senior Executive Vice President, Chemistry-Enrichment Activities underlined "that this project is seeing the light of day thanks to the support of our customers and to the technical and commercial teams from Orano which have been mobilized on the project since March 2022. With this extension to capacity, the uranium produced on the Orano Tricastin site will allow low-carbon energy to be supplied to the equivalent of 120 million households each year". He also underlined "the importance of the support of the Japanese (JFEI**) and Korean (KHNP) shareholders in the Tricastin enrichment company SETH (Société d’Enrichissement du Tricastin Holding) in the realization of this project".

The Georges Besse 2 plant started up in 2011 and reached its full production capacity of 7.5 million SWUs in 2016. It uses centrifugation technology which offers the best possible guarantees in terms of safety, competitiveness and energy savings, technical reliability and environmental impact.

*The Separative Work Unit (SWU) is the unit of measure used as the international standard to quantify production from enrichment activity.
**JFEI: Japan France Enrichment Investing, a consortium of Japanese utilities.


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