Orano SA is a multinational nuclear fuel cycle company headquartered in Châtillon, Hauts-de-Seine, France. The company is engaged in uranium mining, conversion-enrichment, spent fuel recycling, nuclear logistics, dismantling, and nuclear cycle engineering activities. It was created in 2017 as a result of restructuring and recapitalizing of the nuclear conglomerate Areva. Orano is majority owned by the French state. As of September 2021, Orano is the second largest uranium producer in the world with 9% share in global uranium production.[2]

Orano SA
IndustryNuclear industry
FoundedMarch 2001; 22 years ago (2001-03)
FounderAnne Lauvergeon, Pascal Colombani
Area served
Key people
Claude Imauven (Chairman)
Philippe Knoche (CEO)
ProductsNuclear fuel
ServicesNuclear enrichment
Nuclear material transport
Nuclear reprocessing
RevenueIncrease 4.7 billion (2021)
Increase €771 million (2021)
Increase €730 million (2021)
Total assetsIncrease €24.9 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease €1.9 billion (2021)
Number of employees
16,500 (2021)
  • Orano Cycle
  • Orano Mining
  • Orano Med
  • Orano TN
  • Orano Projects
  • Orano Temis
  • Orano DS
  • Orano Assurance & Réassurance
  • Orano US LLC
Footnotes / references


The name Orano is derived from Ouranos, the Greek god, and it refers to uranium.[3] The company's circular yellow logo refers to yellowcake uranium concentrate and to the nuclear fuel cycle.[4]


Orano dates back to 1976 when based on the production division of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the Compagnie générale des matières nucléaires (COGEMA, now Orano Cycle) was created. In 2001, COGEMA was merged with Framatome and CEA Industrie [fr] to form Areva.

In 2016, due to financial difficulties, Areva initiated a restructuring process. As part of this, it created a new fuel cycle company, dubbed as New Co or New Areva. The new company combined Areva Mines, Areva NC, Areva Projects, and Areva Business Support companies.[3] It was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of Areva; however, Areva lost control over the company as the French government invested to recapitalize the company. On 23 January 2018 the company changed its name to Orano.[3][5] In February 2018, Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries took 5% stakes in the company each.[6][7]

In September 2018, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission terminated the license of Orano to construct the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, which was to be built in Bonneville County, Idaho. The project had been suspended since December 2011.[8] At the same time Orano opened the Philippe Coste uranium conversion plant in France.[9]


Orano is engaged in uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, spent fuel recycling, nuclear logistics, dismantling, and nuclear cycle engineering activities. Its main subsidiaries include Orano Cycle, COGEMA and Areva NC, which is active in all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle; Orano Mining, which is active in mining activities, including exploration, extraction, and processing of uranium ore, Orano Med which focuses on the development of therapies to fight cancer; Orano TN, which deals with the transport of nuclear materials; and Orano Projects, which is responsible for the fuel cycle engineering.


The open pit uranium mine at Arlit, Niger.

As of September 2021, Orano is the second largest uranium producer in the world with 9% share in global uranium production.[2] Orano operates uranium production sites in Canada, Kazakhstan, and Niger. In Canada, its operations include interests in the McClean Lake uranium mill, Cigar Lake mine, McArthur River mine, and Key Lake uranium mill. In Kazakhstan, Orano has a joint venture with Kazatomprom named Katco. In Niger, Orano operates two mines near in Arlit, in northern Niger, and is also developing the Imouraren project situated 80 kilometres (50 mi) from Arlit.[10] In addition, it owns the mothballed Trekkopje mine in Namibia,[11] together with the Desalination Plant near Swakopmund.[12] In Gabon, it owns the site of former Mounana uranium mine where mining activities were carried out between 1961 and 1999.[13]


The conversion and enrichment operations are carried out in Malvési and Tricastin sites in France.

Transportation and storageEdit

Nuclear material transport and storage services are provided through Orano TN subsidiary. In 2017 the NUHOMS Matrix advanced used nuclear fuel storage overpack, a high-density system for storing multiple spent fuel rods in canisters, was launched.[14]


Orano provides nuclear recycling activities at the La Hague and Melox sites in France.


Orano provides nuclear fuel cycle engineering services through its subsidiary Orano Projects. Its engineering sites are located in Equeurdreville, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, and Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France. The subsidiary Orano Temis is involved in mechanical engineering and manufactures special equipment, relating to the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as serving external customers in the aerospace and defense sectors. In at least one case Orano has been contracted for feasibility studies.[15]

Nuclear medicineEdit

Orano's subsidiary Orano Med deals with nuclear medicine, including the development of therapies to fight cancer. It has laboratories in Bessines-sur-Gartempe, France, and Plano, Texas, United States.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Orano Group 2021 Annual Report". orano.group. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b "World Uranium Mining Production". World Nuclear Association. December 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "New Areva changes name to Orano". World Nuclear News. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. ^ De Clercq, Geert (23 January 2018). "France's Areva rebrands to Orano in dire uranium market". Reuters. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  5. ^ De Clercq, Geert (23 January 2018). "Areva to be renamed Orano – Les Echos". Reuters. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  6. ^ De Clercq, Geert (27 February 2018). "Japan's JNFL and MHI take up minority stakes in Orano". Reuters. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  7. ^ "MHI, JNFL complete acquisition of Orano stakes". World Nuclear News. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility license withdrawn". International Panel on Fissile Materials. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Orano launches new conversion facility". World Nuclear News. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  10. ^ Flynn, Daniel; De Clercq, Geert (5 February 2014). "Special Report: Areva and Niger's uranium fight". Reuters. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  11. ^ Nhongo, Kaula (16 February 2018). "Areva rules out Trekkopje mine sale". Windhoek Observer. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  12. ^ Kaira, Chamwe (16 November 2018). "NamWater eyes Areva Desalination Plant". Windhoek Observer. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  13. ^ Gualbert, Phal Mezui Ndong (19 October 2010). "Areva, Gabon launch plan to help ill uranium workers". Reuters. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Areva's space-saving solution for used fuel storage". World Nuclear News. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Newcleo raises USD316 million, talks with Orano : New Nuclear – World Nuclear News". world-nuclear-news.org. Retrieved 21 June 2022.

External linksEdit