On 11 January 2022, EDF has adjusted the schedule for the Flamanville 3 project, taking into account the state of progress of the operations and the preparation for start-up in an industrial context made more difficult by the pandemic. The fuel loading date is rescheduled from the end of 2022 to the 2nd trimester 2023. The estimated cost at completion changes from 12.4 billion euros to 12.7 billion euros[1>.
The new organisation put in place at the beginning of 2020 to successfully bring the Flamanville 3 reactor into operation at the required levels of safety and quality enabled to improve efficiency. The most complex operations to repair the penetration welds on the reactor building were successfully completed and deemed compliant by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). These operations were the first of their kind in the industry.
All the fuel assemblies that will be used in the first operating cycle of the reactor are stored in the fuel building, in accordance with the operating fleet procedures.
90% of the equipment has been transferred to the teams in charge of the operation. Over 55,000 documentary checks and verifications have been carried out on the installations, regarding more than 7,000 pieces of equipment that are "important for safety".
Before loading the fuel into the reactor vessel and carrying out the overall start-up tests, several operations remain to be carried out:
- completion of the weld upgrade of the main secondary circuit;
- a new series of qualification tests of the installation before loading the fuel into the reactor;
- Taishan No. 1 reactor technical issue experience feedback integration (see below);
- the final instruction of the last technical issues, in conjunction with the ASN, leading to the granting of administrative authorisations;
- finishing touches to the installation and the provision of all the documents required for operation.
Feedback of the Taishan No. 1 reactor technical matter
Inspections carried out on fuel assemblies of the Taishan No. 1 reactor following the technical issue encountered during its second operating cycle showed mechanical wear of certain assembly components. Such phenomenon has already been identified in several reactors of the French nuclear fleet. This phenomenon does not question the design of the EPR.
In the perspective of the commissioning of Flamanville 3, a solution, already performed on EDF's operating nuclear fleet, will be instructed with the French Nuclear Safety Authority.