Flamanville EPR aiming for summer 2024 grid connection

28 March 2024

France's nuclear regulator has launched a three-week public consultation on its draft decision to authorise the commissioning of the Flamanville EPR reactor, which has a summer 2024 target for connection to the grid.

(Image: EDF video screengrab)

The regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), said the consultation will run from 27 March until 17 April and said it completes the consultation process relating to authorising commissioning of the reactor, following ones held in summer 2023 and from January 15 to February this year.

ASN said it would take into account comments made during the new consultation in finalising its decision, noting that the authorisation is required for fuel to be loaded into the reactor.

In response to the ASN consultation announcement EDF said that thanks to the work of its teams carrying out "final tests and technical instructions to ensure that the installation is fully operational and compliant with the highest safety standards, the Flamanville 3 EPR is technically ready to engage its commissioning".

The company added that following the consultation "the ASN will be in a position to authorise the commissioning of the plant, enabling the first nuclear fuel loading, followed by start-up operations. Connection to the national grid is scheduled for summer 2024".

The ASN said that it would be specifying the methods for taking into account feedback from the operation of other EPR-type reactors in the world. The first EPR units came online at Taishan in China, where unit 1 became the first EPR to enter commercial operation in 2018 followed by Taishan 2 in September 2019. In Europe, Olkiluoto 3 in Finland entered commercial operation in 2023 and two units are under construction at Hinkley Point C in the UK.

Construction work began in December 2007 on the 1650 MWe unit at the Flamanville site in Normandy - where two reactors have been operating since 1986 and 1987. The dome of the reactor building was put in place in July 2013 and the reactor vessel was installed in January 2014. The reactor was originally expected to start commercial operation in 2013.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News