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Calogena project: the GORGÉ group launches a small nuclear reactor project for a free carbon district heating

The GORGÉ group has joined forces with a group of around ten nuclear experts to launch the Calogena project, a small modular reactor (SMR) designed to supply district heating networks.

The GORGÉ group is joining forces with a group of a dozen nuclear experts to launch the Calogena project, a small SMR (Small Modular Reactor) reactor designed to supply district heating networks.

Ecological, safe and simple district heating for the city of tomorrow

Building heating generated 2.5 billion direct tons of CO2 worldwide in 2021[1], or nearly 7% of global emissions. Faced with the challenge of energy transition, the Calogena project proposes a solution designed to decarbonise European district heating networks, which are currently powered by more than 60% carbon-based sources (gas, coal, fuel oil).

Calogena offers a third-generation reactor based on technologies that have been mastered and proven for several decades. With a thermal power of 30 MW and a very compact design (the core measures less than one cubic meter), the Calogena reactor will be able to supply 12,000 homes. The low-pressure, low-temperature operation, the direct use of heat, and the very limited number of auxiliary systems make the concept inherently simpler and safer than any reactors currently in operation or planned.

Calogena believes that it will be able to deploy its solutions from 2030 for local authorities wishing to build the city of tomorrow.

Technical, financial and industrial expertise: the missing link in the French nuclear industry

Calogena will benefit from the dual expertise of the GORGÉ group and the team of a dozen people who developed the concept. This project has been under study for 18 months by a team including expert advisors from NucAdvisor, all of whom have held leading positions in companies in the French and European nuclear ecosystem, such as:

  • Alain Vallée, former Group Technical Director of Framatome, then Director of Nuclear Activities at the CEA’s Saclay Center; he contributed to or led the design of the 1300 MWe, 1450 MWe, and then EPR reactors
  • Dominique Vignon, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Framatome, has participated in the planning, design and construction of numerous nuclear power plants, including the EPR
  • Jan Bartak, former Director of Nuclear Development at ENGIE
  • Hervé Bernard, former Deputy General Administrator of the CEA
  • Jacques Chenais, former Director of the Engineering Department at TechnicAtome and then Head of SMRs at the CEA
  • Noël Camarcat, former Special Advisor for Nuclear R&D and International Issues at EDF’s Nuclear Engineering and New Projects Division
  • Giovanni Bruna, former Scientific Director and member of IRSN’s Staff Committee,
  • Michel Debes, former head of the operation, maintenance and safety of nuclear power plants and the nuclear fuel cycle.

These experts bring their technical knowledge and experience to the main French and international reactor development projects.

In addition, the GORGÉ group brings its expertise in industrial deployment. GORGÉ SAS is a diversified industrial group specialising in high-tech businesses. The group and its subsidiaries, two of which are listed on the stock exchange, have a turnover of €500 million and employ 3,300 people. GORGÉ SAS has a long track record of creating and developing industrial technology companies. For example, Prodways Group, created in 2013 by Raphaël Gorgé in the 3D printing sector, has become a European leader in the sector and now has 460 employees and 80 million euros in revenues. Similarly, in recent years, the group has become a French technological champion in the field of navigation systems and maritime robotics, with the company EXAIL. It generates nearly €300 million in revenues in 80 countries. The GORGÉ group has been active in the nuclear sector since 2007 through industrial and engineering activities in which it employs nearly 300 people, particularly in operational safety through its subsidiary SERES TECHNOLOGIES.

Gorgé SAS is the new name of Pelican Venture, a family business owned and operated by the Gorgé family. It owns Exail Technologies (formerly known as Groupe Gorgé) and is the largest shareholder of Prodways Group.

Raphael Gorgé, Chairman of the GORGÉ Group, said: “With almost two decades of experience in the nuclear sector, our group is pleased to strengthen its contribution to the ecological transition and the development of a national sector of excellence. Calogena brings together the best experience and know-how in the French nuclear industry combined with the dynamism and financial and industrial base of our family-owned medium-sized company. It represents the intermediate level, the missing industrial link in the nuclear industry, positioning itself between the major projects carried out by the national company and the projects based on new technologies developed by start-ups. »

[1] Source: International Energy Agency