March 23, 2012 / 3:30 AM / 8 years ago

Areva sees global nuclear market pick-up "soon" - CEO

French nuclear reactor maker Areva Chief Executive Officer Luc Oursel attends a news conference to present the company's new plans in Paris December 13, 2011. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

SEOUL (Reuters) - French nuclear reactor builder Areva AREVA.PA said it expected a recovery soon in global interest in nuclear projects following Japan’s Fukushima disaster, adding it will bid this year with EDF (EDF.PA) for Poland’s first nuclear project.

Some countries announced plans to quit the nuclear industry after an earthquake and tsunami in March last year triggered the world’s worst atomic disaster in 25 years at the Fukushima plant in Japan.

“It has obviously slowed down a certain number of projects but when we look now as a global situation, we think this will pick up soon,” Luc Oursel, Areva’s chief executive, told reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear industry event in Seoul.

Except for Germany - which decided to shut eight nuclear power plants - and some other countries, most with nuclear power plants and projects were continuing their nuclear programmes, he said.

Oursel said Areva, which designs and supplies nuclear reactors, would jointly bid with French utility EDF for Poland’s nuclear power plant technology tender, expected this year. Poland aims to build a 3 gigawatt station by the early 2020s.

Areva was also engaged in talks with various utilities that were increasingly concerned about raw material procurement, he said. Areva is the world’s second largest uranium producer, with an output of 9,142 metric tons in 2011, according to its website.

EDF and Areva said last month they had agreed a long-term natural uranium supply deal covering more than 20,000 tons between 2014 and 2030.

Reporting by Meeyoung Cho and Eunhye Shin; Editing by Richard Pullin

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