In January 2011, key players from French business and academia joined forces to launch an ambitious R&D program for the country's nuclear industry. The goal will be to foster innovation in the design and construction of nuclear plant command and control systems. The program partners will establish a cluster of R&D projects with a far-reaching impact, in line with recommendations issued by the French Nuclear Policy Commission on February 2, 2011. The main objectives will be to: - Promote innovation and maintain the competitiveness of France's nuclear industry both at home and abroad; - Enhance the credibility and global reputation of France's nuclear firms; - Leverage France's nuclear expertise to prepare for next-generation technology while remaining an attractive industry.
Under the Connexion project, engineers will develop and test a novel architecture for nuclear plant command and control systems for use in France and abroad. The architecture will incorporate technology bricks developed by the country's leading universities and research centers (CEA, INRIA, CNRS-CRAN, ENS Cachan, LIG, and Telecom ParisTech). Major nuclear engineering firms like Areva, Alstom, and EDF will take part in the project, as will providers of embedded software such as Atos Worldgrid, Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear, Corys TESS, Esterel Technologies, All4Tec, and Predict.