Areva has been contracted to supply dry fuel storage management services to Xcel Energy’s nuclear generating plants in the US.

Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear generating plants are located in Red Wing and Monticello, Minnesota, respectively.

The multi-year contract will require Areva to supply and install ten units of NUHOMS 61BTH dry fuel storage systems at Monticello nuclear generating plant in 2017.

The company will also manage and perform the pool-to-pad process to place the used fuel in the shielded NUHOMS storage modules in 2018.

"This integrated approach offers utilities a long-term solution that is safe and cost-effective."

Additionally, Areva will remove nuclear fuel from the Prairie Island reactor’s spent fuel storage pool. It will also be responsible for the placement of fuel in dry storage casks, and secure storage of fuel on the site’s existing interim storage pad.

Areva Americas senior vice-president Greg Vesey said: "Our expertise in the back-end of the fuel cycle enables us to safely manage fuel from the spent fuel pool through its secure storage on-site.

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"This integrated approach offers utilities a long-term solution that is safe and cost-effective."

So far, Areva has loaded more than 900 canisters at sites across the US, more than any other supplier in the country.

Meanwhile, Xcel Energy is reportedly planning to replace two of its large coal-burning generators with a natural gas-fired unit in the US.

It is also planning to invest in wind and solar power projects to cut carbon emissions by 60% up to 2030.

Two of the three coal burners at the Sherco power plant in Becker will be retired in 2023 and 2026, respectively.