Areva has signed a deal to provide fuel for EDF’s fleet of French nuclear reactors until 2021.

Areva said that the contract provides “clear visibility of the workload for its fuel fabrication plants, particularly Romans in the Drôme department of France”.

It added that Areva and EDF will “reinforce their technical co-operation to develop new products aimed at improving performance of the French nuclear fleet”.

EDF operates 58 reactors in France, divided among 19 power plants, and together they provide around 75 per cent of the country’s electricity.

French president Francios Hollande has said since coming to power in 2012 that he wants to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear. However this week, Energy Secretary Segolene Royal appeared to offer a lifeline for Fessenheim, the country’s oldest nuclear plant and a target of President Hollande’s for closure.

Meanwhile in the US, Westinghouse Electric Co has revealed that it booked nearly $500m worth of additional nuclear fuel contracts with eight utility customers for 13 plants within the past year.

Westinghouse, which is part of Toshiba, provides nuclear fuel to 145 plants worldwide, with 55 in the US.