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Wilmington Nuclear Fuel Operation Enters Joint Venture Extension

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Feb 5, 2019
Wilmington-based Global Nuclear Fuel has entered into an extended agreement in its joint venture company GNF ENUSA Nuclear Fuel S.A., company officials announced Tuesday.

GNF signed the agreement with ENUSA Industrias Avanzadas S.A. S.M.E (ENUSA) to extend the operation of the jointly-owned company for another six years. Additional information about the terms of the extended agreement were not disclosed.

GENUSA is majority owned by GNF, a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi Ltd. GNF operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas LLC in Wilmington and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Japan. GNF is a supplier of boiling water reactor fuel and fuel-related engineering services.

GNF supplies all the components, most of which are manufactured in Wilmington, to ENUSA for fabrication and final assembly of bundles, Jon Allen, spokesman for GE Hitachi, said in an email Tuesday.

The agreement means that GNF’s base in Wilmington will “continue to support customers in Europe and compete for new business there,” said Allen.

While the agreement will not immediately impact company investments made in Wilmington, Allen wrote, “continuing the agreement is good news for those local employees who support the contracts we have in Europe and any new business earned would positively impact our local operation.”

The Madrid-based joint venture has been incorporated since 1996, and markets and sells nuclear fuel to boiling water reactor (BWR) operators across Europe.

“GNF is committed to the BWR market worldwide and we are pleased to continue to provide customers in Europe with state-of-the-art fuel technology and services by extending the GENUSA joint venture,” Amir Vexler, CEO of GNF and president of the GENUSA Board of Directors, said in the release.

GENUSA was awarded two contracts in 2018. Last May, company officials announced that GENUSA was selected by Vattenfall to provide fuel reloads for two of the three nuclear units at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant near Forsmark, Sweden.

And in November, GENUSA was awarded an 18-year nuclear fuel contract for reloads to the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Finland.

Fuel for the plants is being manufactured by ENUSA in Spain at its Juzbado nuclear fuel fabrication facility, officials said in the release.

"Extending the GENUSA joint venture with GNF is very important for ENUSA because it provides stability to our relationship at a time when GENUSA has the majority share of the European BWR fuel market," Roberto González, business development & technology director at ENUSA and member of the GENUSA Board of Directors, said in the release.

ENUSA, a Spanish company, supplies customers with solutions in the nuclear fuel cycle, including management and supply of enriched uranium, fuel manufacturing, related engineering and fuel services and irradiated fuel management, stated the release.
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