The CEO of the world's largest nuclear company gave a strong endorsement of nuclear energy as part of the “past, present and future” of the UK’s energy mix – as long as the right investments are made in skills and high quality public dialogue.

Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of the French nuclear and renewable energy conglomerate AREVA, spoke to an audience of senior engineers, policymakers, business people and students at the Royal Academy of Engineering's ERA International Lecture in London on Monday 31 January.

A video of the lecture is available on

Ms Lauvergeon praised the UK’s recent “pragmatic” energy market reforms— which she thought served as a model for other European governments. She was adamant about the need for greater regulatory coherence across the EU: a single EU energy market could not be achieved with 27 separate nuclear safety regimes.

In making the case for nuclear, Ms Lauvergeon also drew attention to the often overlooked economic impact of the industry– both through its role in enhancing the competitiveness of other sectors, and through its own investment in innovation.

Her comments came as the UK Government calls for a new generation of nuclear reactors as part of efforts to reduce the country’s CO2 emissions. The first plant is expected to be in operation by 2018.

The International Secretary of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Sir William Wakeham FREng, said: “Ms Lauvergeon is a key figure in the global low carbon energy industry. Her comments will be of interest to anyone with a stake in this country’s energy future.”

Notes for editors

  1. AREVA is the global nuclear industry leader with over 50,000 employees in 40 countries worldwide. Anne Lauvergeon has been CEO since its foundation in 2001 and is best known for positioning the company as a "one stop shop" for nuclear, covering every aspect of the fuel cycle from uranium mining to energy generation, as well as reactor design, construction and servicing. She regularly features in Forbes magazine's annual lists of the top 10 most powerful women in the world.
  2. The Royal Academy of Engineering’s ERA International Lecture was created, following a generous donation from the ERA Foundation, to enable a UK audience to hear an international perspective from an eminent person with broad engineering interests. Previous speakers include R.K. Pachauri, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Mo Ibrahim, the African philanthropist and mobile phone pioneer.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: Jane Sutton