The agreement was signed during Slovak Republic economy minister Peter Dovhun's official visit to Paris.
JAVYS, a state-owned company, says that the framework cooperation agreement (FCA) provides "more room and areas for cooperation with another important partner in the implementation of future projects".
JAVYS chairman and CEO Pavol Štuller said the agreement followed detailed technical and commercial discussions about potential cooperation: "EDF is a leading supplier of safe, innovative nuclear technology, including SMR technology. The signing of the FCA does not establish any exclusivity ... what we expect from the signing of the FCA is a more intense exchange of information in the field of new technologies, so that we are able to assess their suitability for inclusion in the Slovak energy network."
EDF's senior vice-president in charge of new nuclear, Vakisasai Ramany, said: "EDF is proud to participate in the discussions for the Slovak Republic’s nuclear new build programme, based on its EPR1200 and NUWARD SMR ... EDF is committed to be a long-term partner of JAVYS and the Slovak Republic ... this agreement is a pivotal step in further consolidating EDF’s objective to promote a European nuclear fleet approach based on European technologies and the support of a fully European supply chain, including that of the Slovak industry."
Slovakia has four nuclear reactors - Mochovce units 1 and 2 and Bohunice units 3 and 4 - in commercial operation, generating half of its electricity. Mochovce 3 was connected to the grid in February, while unit 4 is under construction. A siting permit application was also submitted to the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority earlier this year for a new nuclear power plant near the existing Bohunice plant, by Jadrová Energetická Spoločnosť Slovenska - a joint venture between JAVYS and Czech utility ČEZ. Slovakia has also been looking at the future feasibility of SMRs in the country and in June signed memorandums of understanding with Westinghouse over the potential deployment of its AP1000 reactors and AP300 SMRS.
EDF's EPR1200 is a pressurised water reactor derived from the EPR and EPR2. The main difference with the EPR2 is the power level (1200 MWe instead of 1650 MWe). The NUWARD 340 MWe SMR plant would consist of two 170 MWe pressurised water reactors located in one building, allowing the use of shared facilities.