Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo Nucleare, EDF and Edison announce that they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to collaborate on the development of new nuclear power in Europe and to promote its deployment, prospectively also in Italy. The aim of the agreement is to immediately leverage on the expertise of the Italian nuclear power sector, headed by Ansaldo Nucleare, in order to support the development of EDF Group's new nuclear projects, and at the same time to open a debate on the possible role of new nuclear power in Italy's energy transition.
In particular, the parties undertake to explore potential industrial cooperation, drawing on their respective skills:
- Ansaldo Energia Group, as a developer of engineering components and service provider for the energy and nuclear industry;
- EDF as the world's largest nuclear energy producer, involved in new nuclear projects based on its portfolio of technologies, namely (i) the small modular reactor (SMR) NUWARD™ (EDF and Ansaldo Nucleare have recently also signed a first contract for provision of engineering studies for NUWARD™), (ii) the mid-scale reactor EPR1200 and (iii) the large-scale reactor EPR;
- and Edison as one of the largest Italian energy players, leading Italy's energy transition.
Ansaldo Energia Group, EDF and Edison will also assess the potential for the development and application of new nuclear power in Italy, given the growing need for energy security and independence of the Italian electricity system.
According to the four signatories, nuclear power may complement renewable sources, guaranteeing stability and contributing to the environmental sustainability of the electricity system, considering Europe’s and Italy’s ambitious decarbonization targets that set 2050 as the deadline for achieving climate neutrality. Indeed, nuclear power is one of the best energy sources in terms of low carbon dioxide emissions, ensures reduced land consumption per installed electrical power and guarantees optimal production programmability. Furthermore, new reactors, such as the Small Modular Reactors, boast very high safety features, require limited investments, and can be used to produce both electricity and heat, thereby meeting the needs of the energy system and territories in a flexible way.
Subsequent binding agreements, to be defined by the parties, will follow this Letter of Intention.
«This agreement lays the foundations for a concrete and open reflection on the role of new nuclear power in supporting Italian energy transition», says Nicola Monti, Edison CEO. «This need has become more evident following the upheavals of the past year, confirming the importance of long-term strategic choices. New nuclear power complements the development of renewables and can be an adequate solution to support the 2050 carbon neutrality goals, contributing to the energy independence of the European system».
«Ansaldo Energia Group has a wealth of outstanding expertise that is of fundamental importance in the energy transition path based on technologies with high know-how contents», says Giuseppe Marino, Ansaldo Energia CEO. «Today, more than ever, it is critical to make them available to the market to meet the challenge of decarbonisation».
«Ansaldo Energia Group managed to successfully keep its nuclear expertise alive, after the closing of nuclear power plants in Italy», says Riccardo Casale, Ansaldo Nucleare CEO. «We strongly believe in this mission and actively participate in many projects in several European countries, in collaboration with Italian industries and research organisations, testifying the high added value that Italy can bring to the renewed interest in nuclear power in Europe».
«EDF has the ambition to foster international partnerships to deploy a portfolio of nuclear technologies to support Europe towards its net-zero targets», says Vakis Ramany, EDF Senior vice president in charge of international new nuclear development. «We are willing to strengthen the cooperation with the Italian industry and the signing of this Letter of Intent with Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo Nucleare and Edison is a first important step towards a stronger and lasting partnership. This will reinforce the European supply chain of our technologies in a context where many European countries are planning for new nuclear programmes»