EPR technology is setting the standard for future nuclear generation around the world to meet the increasing demand for energy in the context of limited reserves of oil, gas and coal and the need to combat climate change.
The EPR is a third generation pressurised water reactor, capable of achieving around 1,650 MW of power output (compared to 1,450 for the most modern reactors) with a higher yield than previous models. It can supply electricity to up to 1.5 million people, yet requires 17% less fuel and produces less long-term radioactive waste.
Flamanville 3 EPR Project (France) - Photo: EDF
EPR technology has developed from some 30 years’ experience acquired in the design and operation of nuclear plants and offers improved safety, as well as enhanced environmental and financial performance. The EPR reactor has very high safety standards. This is particularly due to the four safety systems which operate alongside each other, each one 100% capable of ensuring the two essential safety functions required to protect people and the environment in any circumstances: shutting down the nuclear reactor and cooling the reactor core. Equipment, known as the core catcher, has been specially designed to recover, contain and cool the reactor core in the event of an accident. Additionally, a concrete shell is constructed over the most sensitive parts of the installation to protect against the risk of external attack.
Since May 2006, EDF has been overseeing the construction of the first French EPR nuclear reactor, located at Flamanville, in the Manche region. And in September 2016, EDF signed a contract with the British government for the construction of two EPRs at Hinkley Point C in the south of England. The project heralds the relaunch of nuclear power in Europe and around the world. Teams from EDF and their partners in the nuclear industry are fully committed to ensuring that these new reactors will be delivered on schedule and on budget.