Areva's EPR reactor standard design has been formally certified as compliant by the European Utility Requirements (EUR) organisation.
|A cutaway of the EPR design (Image: Areva)
The EUR requirements cover a broad range of conditions for a nuclear power plant to operate efficiently and safely. They include such areas as plant layout, systems, materials, components, probabilistic safety assessment methodology and availability assessment. Although still requiring regulatory design approval in each country, EUR compliance indicates that the reactor design meets a list of requirements set by the utilities for the next generation of light water reactors (LWRs).
In a statement Areva said, "The EUR assessment was extremely detailed, covering over 4675 requirements. The EPR reactor complied with over 99% of these requirements (including the non-applicable ones). The assessment also showed only a 0.1% level of non-compliance, all of which were substantiated by Areva."
Claude Jaouen, senior executive vice president of Areva NP's plants business unit, said: "The EUR document represents a major step towards the standardization of design, the homogenization of safety requirements and aligns new plants to a high level of performance."
Areva's 1600+ MWe EPR is the third reactor design so far to be certified by the EUR. In May 2007, the Westinghouse AP1000 was certified, while AtomStroyExport's AES-92 advanced semi-passive VVER-1000 design was awarded a similar certificate the previous month.
The EUR effort was launched in December 1991 by several European utilities to produce a common set of utility requirements endorsed by major European utilities for the next generation of light water reactor nuclear power plants. It was modelled on the US Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI's) Utility Requirements Document for advanced LWRs. Current members of EUR include British Energy (BE), Electricité de France (EdF), Iberdrola of Spain, Rosenergoatom of Russia and Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) of Finland.