EDF, the operator of the world’s first nuclear plant pool, plans to continue to be a key player in the nuclear sector in a context favourable to the development of new projects.
EPR: showcasing French nuclear expertise
From the beginning of the 2000s, in partnership with Framatome (formerly AREVA NP, and a subsidiary of the Group since 2 January 2018), EDF chose to develop a third-generation reactor: the EPR.
Today, 200 different kinds of professionals are working simultaneously on this technology, from design to commissioning. EDF is contributing its expertise in project management, technical know-how, training, and team management.
The EPR is the next step in the development of nuclear reactors. It incorporates recent advances in safety, environmental protection, and technical and economic performance, offering safe, competitively-priced and greenhouse gas-free production of electricity.
With its 1,650-MW capacity, the EPR will be the most powerful reactor in the world, with improved yield.
The design and operational goals of the EPR allow, in particular:
- a more efficient use of fuel: constant production of electricity, a 17% reduction in fuel consumption in comparison to 1,300-MW reactors.
- a 30% reduction in the amount of radioactive waste produced.
EPR: global benchmark technology
For countries that have chosen nuclear energy, EPR technology is a benchmark that offers a high-performance non-carbon mode of producing electricity with an unparalleled level of power and safety.
Six EPRs are currently under construction around the world: One in France, one in Finland, two in China and two in the United Kingdom.
- The Flamanville 3 site, in the department of Manche in Normandy, is the most iconic. The commissioning of the French reactor is scheduled for the end of the last quarter of 2018.
- In China, two EPRs are under construction at Taïshan, as part of a partnership with the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) group, in which EDF has a 30% stake; the first reactor is set to be commissioned in 2018.
- EDF Energy plans to build four reactors in the UK and recently started construction on the first two, at the Hinkley Point site.
The commissioning of four reactors worldwide by 2019 will consolidate EDF’s place on the international high-power reactor market.
According to the AIEA, the nuclear energy market will continue to grow over the course of the next few decades: experts estimate the development potential of new nuclear capacities to surpass 100 GW by 2040 (main scenario), perhaps even going beyond 300 GW (Sustainable Development scenario). It should be noted that ten out of the twelve largest world powers include nuclear power in their energy mix.
In India, which plans to add an additional capacity of 56 GW by 2040, EDF is in exclusive negotiations with the Indian operator Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NCPIL) for the construction of six EPRs in Jaitapur. This site will become the largest nuclear production site in the world.
The Flamanville 3 EPR
The Flamanville 3 EPR is a leading unit. Its site, which is in the home straight before the reactor starts production, has allowed the region’s industrial fabric to be repaired and all the skills required to manufacture equipment to be gathered, while also allowing the extra costs associated with a long period without major projects to be identified.
Today, this experience, as well as those of other EDF EPR sites around the world, allows the Group to conduct operations to optimise the costs and construction deadlines associated with EPRs in the EPR 2 project.
Three levers have been put in place to increase competitiveness:
- Consideration, right from the design stage, of industrial aspects, to improve the constructability of the future reactor and make it safer;
- Transformation of the methods and tools that contribute to increasing the efficiency of the engineering teams;
- Simplification and optimisation of the design of the EPR.
The goal of the EPR 2 project is to have a competitive model on the new production means market by 2030.