Framatome and Siemens have completed the merger of their nuclear operations under Framatome ANP. Framatome will hold a 66 per cent stake of the company and Siemens will hold 34 per cent. Completion of the deal, announced in July 2000, follows the finalisation of anti-trust reviews in the USA and Europe.

The new company will be based in Paris. Operation will be retroactive from 1 January 2001. Framatome ANP is to become a subsidiary of a new holding company, TOPCO, to be set up in the next few months.

Framatome ANP will comprise four business groups, Nuclear Services, Mechanical Equipment, Nuclear Fuel and Projects and Engineering. The company is responsible for construction of over 90 reactors in 11 countries. The merger follows close cooperation between Siemens and Framatome during the development of the European Pressurised Water Reactor.

The partners in the new company believe that there is significant potential for growth in the nuclear power industry. Deregulation in the USA, they claim, makes nuclear power economically more attractive there, while global warming and greenhouse gas emissions may renew interest in the nuclear option in Europe. In Asia, meanwhile, nuclear capacity continues to grow.