Flamanville EPR vessel delivered

07 October 2013

The reactor vessel for Flamanville 3, France's first EPR, has been delivered to the construction site. The unit is scheduled to operate from 2016.

Flamanville EPR vessel arrives - 460 (Areva)
The reactor vessel waits to be unloaded at Flamanville (Image: Areva)

The component - weighing several hundred tonnes - was despatched from Areva's Saint Marcel manufacturing plant in eastern France in early September. It was transported by ship to the manufacturing site on the northwestern coast of the country, where it arrived today.

The reactor vessel required 50,000 hours of design and manufacturing work, including welding, machining and assembly, Areva noted.

The company said that delivery of the reactor vessel "marks the ramp-up of operations in the nuclear island and acceleration of electromechanical installation work at the site." The vessel will be installed within the reactor building of Flamanville 3 over the coming months.

Following the placement of the dome atop the reactor building of Flamanville 3 in mid-July, civil engineering work at the unit is now 95% complete.

EDF's director for the Flamanville EPR site Antoine Ménager commented, "Following the installation of the dome this summer, the activities on the EPR construction site continue to move forward with the arrival of the reactor vessel. The next step will be the installation of the vessel in the reactor building and the start of work for the assembly of the reactor coolant system."

Construction work began on the 1650 MWe unit, adjacent to two existing pressurized water reactors, at the Normandy site in December 2007. EDF is architect engineer of the project, while Areva is contributing the nuclear steam supply system and Bouygues Construction is leading the civil engineering consortium. The reactor was originally expected to start commercial operation in 2013, but due to delays is now expected to start up in 2016.

EPRs are also under construction at Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Taishan 1 and 2 in China. Olkiluoto 3 has been under construction since 2005 and has seen several revisions to its start-up date, which is now expected by 2016. Taishan 1, which has been under construction since 2009, is expected to start up in 2014, while Taishan 2 is scheduled to begin operating a year later.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News