April 9, 2010 / 12:09 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-France's Areva signs nuclear deals with Italy

* Areva signs deal to help build at least 4 EPR plants

* Signs co-operation agreement with Techint Group

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PARIS, April 9 (Reuters) - French nuclear power group Areva CEPFi.PA signed a deal with Ansaldo Energia on Friday to work on an Enel-EDF project to build at least four EPR reactors to help revive Italy’s nuclear power industry.

The Italian government, which pulled out of nuclear energy after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, now aims to get 25 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

The four nuclear plants would cover about half of the country’s needs. Friday’s agreement coincided with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s visit to Paris.

EDF (EDF.PA) and Enel (ENEI.MI) will act as investors and architect engineers for the Italian project and use Areva’s technology.

Areva said it had also agreed to co-operate on future nuclear projects worldwide with the Techint Group, a conglomerate of international companies that help design and build large industrial facilities.

With its 58 nuclear power reactors, France is the world’s second-largest producer of nuclear energy after the United States.

Italy gave final approval in February to a decree paving the way to start work on new plants in 2013 and nuclear production by 2020.

Areva said it had also signed an agreement with the CIRTEN Italian inter-university consortium for nuclear research and technology to promote exchanges and student visits. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by James Regan)

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