A forward-looking corporation

Innovation guides Orano’s thinking today so that it can make its ideas a reality in the future. Orano innovates to re-invent itself, broaden the field of possibilities and explore new opportunities for growth. Our unique skills and expertise, our cutting-edge technologies, as well as some of our strategic nuclear materials are key resources in sectors with a promising future, such as healthcare, the circular economy, aerospace engineering and the energy transition. Nuclear energy will on keep surprising you!

An innovation culture

Orano’s innovation culture draws on our openness to innovative ecosystems, including start-ups and SMEs, and to a new kind of partnership, like that found in the world of design or in deep-tech. It encourages the freedom to take action and collective intelligence by developing a mindset that always centers our thinking on customers, users and value creation. 

    • An ecosystem of more than 1,500 innovative start-ups and SMEs
    • Collaboration with more than 100 start-ups using a “win-win” approach
    • More than 100 million euros invested in R&D each year
    • 40 business explorations each year
    • Orano Awards promote internal innovation every 2 years
    • Orano I4.0 world: an interactive module that invents new industry 4.0 uses in association with partner start-ups
    Orano Med, Maurice Tubiana facility dedicated to 212Pb production. Bessines sur Gartempe, France. © Orano, LARRAYADIEU ERIC

    Innovation is part of our DNA

    Intervention in nuclear environment is leading us to innovate over and over, in order to enhance safety and security. The driver of our creativity is the safey of our operators, leveraging and empowering them in harsh situations.

    Lab’O: a foresight laboratory @Orano

    Lab’O anticipates, adapts and captures new development opportunities and markets in a world that is undergoing ever more rapid transformation. Through “expeditions,” the participants build prospective frameworks in which new ideas and concepts emerge. Fascinating!


    Collaborations with students

    • Hackathon with EDHEC Business School: 80 students mobilized with Orano to reconcile nuclear energy and climate change
    • Schoolab students in innovative product creation are imagining new work methods at Orano and studying the impact on managerial practices 

    New fields of application in recycling electric batteries

    Orano is participating in the project dedicated to recycling and re-using electric vehicle batteries. This project is part of a circular economy approach aimed at giving the re-usable materials in batteries a second life. Working in a consortium with several industrial partners, we are developing a process which separately purifies and recovers the metals contained in the batteries of electric vehicles (lithium, cobalt, nickel, etc.) so they can be recycled and made into new battery components.

    • 100 million electric vehicles in circulation in the world by 2030 versus 10 million today
    • A first in France and Europe
    • Objective: recover 95% of strategic metals (Li, Ni, Co) contained in batteries once they have reached the end of their lifetimes, with the goal of re-using them 
    Battery flies. Centre d'Innovation Minière (CIME). Bessines, Limousin. France © Orano, GUICHARD FRANCOIS

    An expertise and technological excellence platform

    CIME (an extractive metallurgy innovation center) is one of Orano’s main R&D hubs. Located in Bessines-sur-Gartempe, this new industrial facility is aimed at developing innovative solutions in several areas such as energy transition, the circular economy, healthcare, ore processing and engineering. Two industrial pilots will be deployed on the site as part of the project to recycle and re-use the metals contained in electric vehicle batteries.  

    • An investment of 30 million euros 
    • A project supported by France Relance (6.1 million euros)
    Center for Innovation in Extractive Metallurgy (CIME) in Bessines. © Orano - GUICHARD FRANCOIS

    New stable isotope laboratory: A first in France

    Because we want to strengthen our know-how and develop our advanced technologies outside the nuclear field, we have set up a laboratory for producing stable isotopes (LIS). These non-radioactive elements are used in numerous applications and demand for them continues to grow due to their properties, especially in the medical field (cancer diagnosis and treatment), in the industrial sector (increased laser performance) and in basic research (quantum information science). This new advanced technology laboratory is a first in France. 

    Laboratory Stable Isotopes (LIS) © Orano - CRESPEAU CYRIL
    • Surface area of 3,200 m2
    • An investment of nearly 15 million euros
    • A highly qualified staff of 20 people 
    • Initial production runs planned for the 2nd half of 2023 

    A renovated, environmentally friendly industrial fleet

    Orano has unique expertise in the nuclear fuel cycle. This industrial know-how is based on facilities that are among the most modern in the world and recognized throughout the market for the technological skills of their personnel and their innovative processes, which offer the best guarantees in terms of technical reliability, energy savings and environmental impact. 

    Reactor with flames,conversion plant of UF4 to UF6 Comurhex II Pierrelatte. Site of Tricastin (France) © Orano - LARRAYADIEU ERIC
    • Mines: innovative extraction techniques
    • Orano Malvési and Philippe Coste: entirely overhauled uranium conversion capacities that meet the most recent safety, technology and environmental standards
    • Georges Besse II (Orano Tricastin): one of the largest industrial platforms in Europe for uranium enrichment by centrifugation
    • Orano La Hague: the largest industrial platform for recycling nuclear materials in the world and recognized for the performance of its facilities which implement the latest technologies
    • Orano Melox: a plant setting the standard worldwide for MOX recycled fuel fabrication

    Fuels for the reactors the future

    Orano la Hague reprocessing plant aerial view. Manche Department. France © Orano - CRESPEAU CYRIL
    Nuclear energy in the future entails a new generation of reactors whose objective is to reduce the quantity and lifetime of waste. They include AMRs, fast neutron reactors and even fusion reactors. As a global expert in the nuclear fuel cycle, we work on supplying new types of fuels, drawing on the know-how of our industrial platform at La Hague and partnering with innovative start-ups. A new adventure for Orano!
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