Areva has announced that its 1250 MWe Generation III+ boiling water reactor (BWR) design, provisionally known as SWR-1000, is henceforth to be called Kerena.
Kerena is one of three Generation III+ reactor designs offered by Areva, alongside the EPR and Atmea pressurised water reactor designs. Whereas Atmea and Kerena are still in the design phase, two EPRs are currently under construction, at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, with construction due to start on two units at Taishan in China later this year and at Penly in France by 2012.
Was SWR-1000, now called Kerena (Image: Areva NP)
Areva executives told British suppliers this week that a decision to build a third EPR in France could come by the end of the year.
So-called Generation III and Generation III+ reactors feature standardised designs offering numerous advantages over most of the world's currently operating - or Generation II - reactors. These include enhanced safety, simplified operation, lower fuel requirements and the production of smaller volumes of waste. They typically feature inherent, or 'passive', safety features which depend only on physical phenomena such as convection, gravity or resistance to high temperatures, not on functioning of engineered components. For the utility and vendor, standardised design provides the scope for faster licensing, reduced capital costs and shorter construction times.
The Kerena design was been developed from that of the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant by Areva with extensive German input and using operating experience from Generation II BWRs to simplify systems engineering. The 1250-1290 MWe reactor has a 60 year operating life and uses high-burnup fuels, meaning that it can go for up to two years between refuelling outages. The simplified, standardised design incorporates passive safety systems alongside certain active ones and could be built in less than 48 months, according to Areva's reactor design and construction arm, Areva NP.
Finland's Fennovoima selected Kerena as one of three possible designs for its new build project, while German utility EOn agreed to work with Areva on further developing the reactor design as part of a 2008 agreement to cooperate on the construction of new UK nuclear power plants.