On Wednesday 15 March 2017, construction of the Flamanville EPR reached another milestone with the beginning of the system performance testing for the whole plant, in accordance with the timetable announced in September 2015. These tests, which will take place until the last quarter of 2018, will help check and test that all the EPR’s circuits are working properly. They will involve more than 1000 experienced technicians and engineers from EDF and industrial partners.
The first phase of these tests begins with nuclear circuit cleaning, which involves circulating water at a very high flow rate through all the pipes connecting the safety systems in the primary coolant system and the reactor vessel. This flushing work is set to continue until summer 2017.
Cold testing will then take place. Each piece of equipment will be tested to make sure that it fulfils the role it was assigned when the plant was designed.
The Flamanville EPR is the most powerful third-generation reactor in the world. The next milestone will involve fuel loading and then start-up at the end of the 4th quarter of 2018.
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