As global interest in nuclear power grows, two major European design firms have joined forces to capture a share of the business. London-based W.S. Atkins plc. and Paris-based Assystem S.A. now are targeting international projects jointly while continuing to operate independently in their home markets. Based in France, the joint venture Nuclear Atkins Assystem Alliance (NAAA) claims that, drawing from the two companies, it will have access to 3,000 employees with market-relevant skills. NAAA executives believe that 30 countries are considering entry into the nuclear power market and that a similar number already have operational plants. Martin Grant, managing director
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.