Flamanville 3 EPR Project
Flamanville 3 : Paving the way for the future with a new-generation power plant
Following an initial preparatory phase involving earthworks and excavation in 2006, construction work on the EPR began in December 2007, and is now well underway.
The plant is due to go commercial in 2019, for an amount of capital expenditure around 10,9 billion Euros.
The EPR : Meeting the industrial challenges of the future
EPR reactors are being built in France because of the need to invest in new generation capacity in order to secure electricity supply. It marks an essential step in the process of replenishing EDF's nuclear fleet.
The EPR takes existing technology a step further into the future. It incorporates all recent advances in the areas of nuclear safety, environmental protection, technical performance and economic efficiency, delivering safe and competitive power without emitting greenhouse gases.
Cutting-edge technology features enhancements in the areas of operational safety, environmental protection and economic performance.
Exceptionally high safety standards
The EPR design incorporates extremely reliable safety features. More specifically, its safeguard systems comprise four redundant trains, each of which is able to totally fulfil one of the two essential safety functions (stopping the nuclear reaction and cooling the reactor), required to protect man and the environment in any situation.
Enhanced environmental protection
The EPR will not emit greenhouse gases.
In terms of design and operation, the EPR will deliver the following benefits :
- more efficient use of nuclear fuel : at an average sustained rate of power generation, a 17%-drop in fuel consumption compared with 1 300-MW reactors
- a marked reduction in radioactive liquid and gaseous effluent discharge compared with the best-performing French nuclear power plants (- 30%, excluding carbon 14 and tritium, which remain at the same level as that observed in existing reactors)
- a 30%-drop in the amount of solid radioactive waste
Enhanced economic performance
Drawing on the technologies of French N4 reactors (Chooz and Civaux) and German KONVOI reactors, the EPR is an extension of existing technologies. It delivers greater operational flexibility, while at the same time costing less to run. It will help to consolidate French nuclear expertise and to pave the way for the renewal of the French and European fleets.
The EPR will be the most powerful reactor in the world (1 650 MW, compared with the 1 500 MW delivered by the most recent reactors), while also delivering greater efficiency.
It has been designed for a 60-year service life.
The EPR reactor should be able to achieve a 91% capability factor, essentially owing to shorter average refuelling outage durations at equivalent safety levels. Refuelling outages will be cut down to 16 days, compared with the 30 to 45 days currently observed on existing plants, depending on design. This will increase annual power output by 36%, compared with reactors currently in operation.