Research and innovation for safety and efficiency

1. INNOVATION: A SHARED CULTURE

For AREVA, innovation is a cycle of continuous improvement to evolve existing solutions, but also create real technological breakthroughs which open up new markets.

With 448 million euros invested in Research and Development (R&D) in 2012 (4.8% of turnover), 900 experts in its global network and 120 new inventions patented in 2012, AREVA is confidently preparing for the future. 

A GLOBAL APPROACH

AREVA’s Research and Development policy informs all Group activities, from fuel cycle, through reactors and on to renewable energies.

Over and above technology per se, AREVA conceives innovation as a global approach, stimulating an ongoing re-thinking of business models and organization. The implementation of “roadmaps”, which associate marketing, development and operations, demonstrates this culture of shared innovation.

The setup of an Innovation Hub will also enable the best ideas and projects emerging from innovation breakthroughs to be brought to fruition, in areas sometimes remote from the Group’s historical marketplace. The program led by AREVA Med – in partnership with the Roche pharmaceutical Group – for the development of new treatments to fight cancer, is revealing of the Group’s R&D approach.

2. SAFETY: A DUTY OF EXCELLENCE

Safety is the Group’s top priority, and will see more than two billion euros of investment by 2016 as part of its strategic action plan.

In the nuclear sector, trust is not something that is decreed, but is earned through AREVA’s absolute commitment to safety and transparency: safety of operations, safety of products and services in its own facilities and those of its customers.

INTEGRATING LESSONS LEARNED

Fukushima has been a reminder to all of the vital importance of the safety, security and transparency criteria, and has led to developments in the highest levels of facility protection. Within this context, AREVA has defined additional criteria for the prevention and management of crisis situations in the face of extreme hazards, over and above those taken into account in the design basis of facilities. These include new resources for managing and responding to these extreme emergency situations (strengthened crisis control centers, AREVA National Response Force - FINA).

The Complementary Safety Assessments conducted in 2011 demonstrated the robustness of the Group’s long-term nuclear facilities in the unlikely eventuality of extreme natural events occurring.

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ORGANIZATIONAL AND HUMAN FACTORS

There are strong interconnections between people, technology and organizations, which have to be understood and integrated into the analysis of deviations – even the smallest – and incidents in order to learn all the lessons and prevent the recurrence of events. An “event prevention rate” indicator has been implemented, based on the level 1 events ratio on the INES scale (1), compared to the number of level 0 events. The reporting of weak signals increased significantly in 2012, accompanied by a reduction in level 1 events. Additional provisions have been made as part of the Safety Excellence program to better support operational management in the fields of safety.

STRENGTHENING THE CULTURE OF NUCLEAR AND CONVENTIONAL SAFETY

There can be no effective safety without the full involvement of all players at all levels of the company. It is essential to clearly define the responsibilities of each and every person involved, to require rigorous behaviors and maintain risk awareness, both at management level and operator level.

3. THE ENVIRONMENT: A PRIORITY

AREVA is one of the first industrial groups with a neutral carbon footprint. It also provides innovative solutions to enable its customers to reduce their own environmental footprints.

Reduction of the consumption of natural resources, control of emissions, optimization of waste management: AREVA’s environmental footprint has been continuously reduced since 2004. Thanks to the site-by-site monitoring of objectives, in 2012 the Group succeeded (for 2004 constant turnover figures) in reducing its water consumption by 91%, its energy consumption by 84%, greenhouse gas emissions by 65% and its production of conventional non-recycled waste by 49%.

A NEUTRAL CARBON FOOTPRINT

AREVA has implemented a carbon-neutral policy. A pioneer of this approach, since 2008 the Group has been one of the first major industrial groups to meet this neutrality target for direct GG emissions. This commitment is ongoing today as part of a three-tier strategy: identification of GG emission sources, reduction of emissions and an offset program.

Since 2011, AREVA’s Renewable Energy Business Group is the sole supplier of carbon credits for the Group as part of the development of new green energy projects in emerging countries. An eco-friendly and cost-effective vision, fully in line with the Group’s goal of offering a diverse, carbon-free range of services and products, combining nuclear and renewable energies.