The success of the energy transition underway will rely on our capacity to solve the following challenge: how to meet the world’s increasing demand for energy as it grows and prospers while also reducing drastically CO2 emissions?
With a continuous effort towards decarbonisation, it is now given that the share of electricity in the world energy mix will continue to grow at a strong pace. To sustain this growth, Assystem firmly believes that nuclear energy will be one of the cornerstone of this trend, as it is the only energy solution that can replace fossil fuels with low-carbon energy production while satisfying base-load electrical demand.
The nuclear industry must therefore continue to improve its competitiveness while strengthening its safety requirements.
In 2015, the International Energy Agency’s Technology Roadmap concluded that "Global capacity must more than double, with nuclear supplying 17% of global electricity generation in 2050, to meet the IEA 2 degree scenario for the most effective and efficient means of limiting global temperature." A major challenge for the nuclear industry is controlling costs and delivery times for new nuclear programmes. The SMR (Small Modular Reactor) could provide a complementary offer to the high power reactor. For the countries with a less densely grid-connected network, the SMR is an opportunity that allows them to increase their production of decarbonised electricity by installing one or more SMR modules.
Many facilities originally designed for a 30 years operational life are now being extended to operate for 40, 50 or even 60 years. Lifetime extensions must be justified on the grounds of both dependability and financial viability. Replacement of components and systems can be undertaken to maintain adequate margins of safety through major investments and in-depth planning by plant owners.
By taking advantage of the latest digital technologies, nuclear operators can improve the operating conditions of their plants while reducing their operating costs. This is particularly the case for maintenance and refuelling outage planning, where the latest planning software coupled with big data processing algorithms can reduce downtime, allowing the operator to produce more electricity.
The safety of nuclear installations is a constant concern for the entire sector, which dictates a large part of the choices made from design through operation to dismantling. Strongly regulated and controlled by an independent authority, safety and security standards are constantly being revised upwards, driving the entire sector towards excellence. This is reflected in the development and fine-tuning of ever-safer systems and the ongoing training of operators based on internationally exchanged best practices.
Ranked in the Top 2 international nuclear engineering companies worldwide, Assystem has over 50 years of experience of working in complex and highly-regulated industries. The company was originally established to support the commissioning and start-up of the first fleet of nuclear reactors in France in 1966 and since then, has grown and diversified to acquire strong track records in other sectors including life sciences as well as energy and transport infrastructure. Our commitment to the nuclear industry remains as strong as ever and Assystem is today recognized as one of the most prominent consulting & engineering companies worldwide in the nuclear business.
Assystem is able to collaborate with any global supplier of nuclear technology. With our 3,000 employees in the nuclear industry, we are present in many of the countries that are actively developing nuclear energy, including France, United Kingdom, Turkey, Finland, Saudi Arabia and India.
We believe that decarbonized electricity and safety will be the drivers for sustainable energy solutions for the future. Our wide knowledge of European and Middle East markets, utilities and nuclear safety authorities is a valuable asset in supporting newcomers in the nuclear energy industry.
"The current issue is to implement a new, interoperable, pooled data repository in order to ensure better project management and imagine new approaches to operation and maintenance. "