From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
FormerlyAreva NP
IndustryNuclear power
Founded1958; 65 years ago (1958)
HeadquartersLa Défense, Courbevoie, France
Number of locations
Area served
France, US, China, Germany, United Kingdom
Key people
Bernard Fontana
OwnerEDF (75,5 %)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (19,5 %)
Assystem (5 %).
Number of employees
  • Framatome Inc.
  • Framatome GmbH
  • Framatome BHR
  • Edvance
  • Corys
  • Intercontrôle

Framatome (French pronunciation: ​[fʁamatɔm]) is a French nuclear reactor business.[1] It is owned by Électricité de France (EDF) (75.5%), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (19.5%), and Assystem (5%).

The company first formed in 1958 to license Westinghouse's pressurized water reactor (PWR) designs for use in France. Similar agreements had been put in place with other European countries, and this led to a 1962 contract for a complete plant at Chooz. Westinghouse sold its stake to engineering firm Creusot-Loire in 1976, and the company became solely French owned.

In 2001, Siemens sold its reactor business to Framatome. As part of a larger series of mergers with Cogema and Technicatome, Framatome became the Areva NP division of the new Areva. It changed its name back to Framatome in 2018 after a major investment by utility operator EDF.[2]

While originally a licensing and construction business, today Framatome supplies the entire reactor life-cycle, including design of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), construction, fuel management and many related tasks.


Framatome was founded in 1958 by several companies of the French industrial giant Schneider Group along with Empain, Merlin Gérin, and the American Westinghouse, in order to license Westinghouse's pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology and develop a bid for Chooz A (in France). Called Franco-Américaine de Constructions Atomiques (Framatome), the original company consisted of four engineers, one from each of the parent companies.

The original mission of the company was to act as a nuclear engineering firm and to develop a nuclear power plant that was to be identical to Westinghouse's existing product specifications.[3] The first European plant of Westinghouse design was by then already under construction in Italy. A formal contract was signed in September 1961 for Framatome to deliver a turnkey system, that is, not only the reactor, but an entire, ready-to-use system of piping, cabling, supports, and other auxiliary systems, propelling Framatome from a nuclear engineering firm to an industrial contractor.

In January 1976, Westinghouse agreed to sell its remaining 15% share to Creusot-Loire, which now owned 66%, and to cede complete marketing independence to Framatome.[4][5] In February, the Belgian Édouard-Jean Empain sold his 35% interest in Creusot-Loire to Paribas, a French government-linked banking group.[citation needed]

A January 1982 company reorganization simultaneously strengthened French public and private control of the company by allowing Creusot-Loire to increase its share of the company while increasing CEA say in the running of the firm. In 2001, German company Siemens' nuclear business was merged into Framatome.[6] Framatome and Siemens had been officially cooperating since 1989 on the development of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR).[7]

In 2001, after a merger with Cogema (now Orano) and Technicatome, a new nuclear conglomerate called Areva was formed, and Framatome became Areva NP. In 2007, Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries created a joint venture named Atmea, for marketing the ATMEA1 reactor design.[8] In 2009, Areva NP acquired 30% stake in the Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel company.[8]

In 2009, Siemens sold its remaining shares in Areva NP.[9][10][11] In 2018, after restructuring of Areva, Areva NP was sold to Électricité de France. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (19.5%), and Assystem (5%) became also shareholders. As a result of the restructuring, Électricité de France and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries became equal shareholders of Atmea with 50% of shares both while Framatome owns a special share in Atmea.[8][12]


EPR generic layout

Framatome designs, manufactures, and installs components, fuel and instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power plants and offers a full range of reactor services. It is responsible for Flamanville 3, Taishan 1 and 2, and Hinkley Point C projects. In addition, Framatome conducts preliminary study for construction of six reactors at the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in the Indian state of Maharashtra.[13][14]

Framatome provides EPR reactors, which is a third generation pressurised water reactor (PWR) design, and Kerena reactors, which is 1,250 MWe Generation III+ boiling water reactor (BWR) design, provisionally known as SWR-1000. The Kerena design was developed from that of the Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant by Areva, with extensive German input and using operating experience from Generation II BWRs to simplify systems engineering.[15]

In 2016, following a discovery at Flamanville 3, about 400 large steel forgings manufactured by Framatome's Le Creusot Forge operation since 1965 were found to have carbon-content irregularities that weakened the steel. A widespread programme of French reactor checks was started involving a progressive programme of reactor shutdowns, continued over the winter high electricity demand period into 2017.[16][17] In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal characterised the problem as a "decades long coverup of manufacturing problems", with Framatome executives acknowledging that Le Creusot had been falsifying documents.[18] Le Creusot Forge was out of operation from December 2015 to January 2018 while improvements to process controls, the quality management system, organisation and safety culture were made.[19]

In 2020 Framatome won an order to deliver reactor protection systems for the Russian VVER-TOI design nuclear reactors at Kursk II.[20]


  1. France [21]
    • 18 sites spread throughout the country
    • 7500+ employees
  2. Germany [22]
    • 3 locations: Erlangen, Karlstein and Lingen
    • 3000+ employees
  3. China [23]
    • 8 sites : Beijing, Lianyungang, Shanghai, Qinshan, Fuqing, Daya Bay, Yangjiang and Taishan
    • 4000 experts in the world providing vital support ACNS
  4. USA [24]
    • 14 sites: Benicia, CA, Charlotte, NC, Cranberry Township, PA, Fort Worth, TX, Foxborough, MA, Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Lake Forest, CA, Lynchburg, VA (3 locations), Richland, WA, and Washington, D.C.
    • 2,320 employees
  5. Canada
    • 3 sites (Kincardine, ON, Montreal, QC, and Pickering, ON)
  6. UK
    • 3 sites (Bristol and Cranfield)


  1. ^ "New NP resurrects Framatome name". Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  2. ^ "New NP resurrects Framatome name". 4 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Framatome SA History". International Directory of Company Histories. FundingUniverse. 1998. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ Lewis, Paul (24 January 1981). "France Set to Build Reactors". New York Times. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Westinghouse sells French nuclear stake". Chemical & Engineering News. 54 (2): 5. 1976. doi:10.1021/cen-v054n002.p005. An agreement signed in Paris calls for Westinghouse to sell its 45% stake in Framatome, France's sole maker of commercial nuclear plants, to the government-run Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) and to Creusot-Loire, a major French engineering firm, for $25 million... Westinghouse will continue to receive license royalties at present rates on the existing and planned nuclear reactors designed around its pressurized-water reactor system.
  6. ^ Vanessa Fuhrmans (2011-04-15). "Siemens Rethinks Nuclear Ambitions". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ Andrew Teller (2 February 2010). "The EPR Reactor: Evolution to Gen III+ based on proven technology" (PDF). Areva. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  8. ^ a b c "Areva NP becomes Framatome and Atmea is reorganised". Nuclear Engineering International. 2018-01-08. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  9. ^ Marc Lomazzi, Le Parisien, 13 August 2007 "Nucléaire: les dessous de l'accord entre la France et la Libye" (in French).
  10. ^ "Siemens to give up nuclear joint venture with Areva". Helsingin Sanomat. 27 January 2009. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Siemens quits the nuclear game". World Nuclear News. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  12. ^ "EDF and MHI to collaborate on Atmea joint venture". World Nuclear News. 2018-01-05. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  13. ^ "'We are partners over the long haul'". The Hindu. 25 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Areva wins India nuclear deal worth at least $10 bln". Reuters. 4 February 2009.
  15. ^ "Areva names its BWR". World Nuclear News. 20 March 2009. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  16. ^ Andrew Ward (28 October 2016). "French nuclear outages threaten higher UK power bills". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  17. ^ John Large (26 September 2016). Irregularities and Anomalies Relating to the Forged Components of Le Creusot Forge (PDF). Large Associates (Report). Greenpeace France. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  18. ^ Matthew Dalton; Inti Landauro; Rebecca Smith (13 December 2016). "Coverup at French Nuclear Supplier Sparks Global Review". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Framatome forge raises replacement parts production". World Nuclear News. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Framatome to deliver reactor protection system for Kursk II". Nuclear Engineering International. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Framatome in the world - France". Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  22. ^ "Framatome in the world - Germany". Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  23. ^ "Framatome in the world - China". Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  24. ^ "Framatome in the world - US platform". Retrieved 2020-01-20.

External links[edit]