Future EPRs to sport designer looks?

19 September 2008

Flamanville 3

Flamanville 3's supposed outline is a step forward, but are its rakish
lines the best nuclear designers can do?


EDF Energy has approached a number of UK architects to gauge their interest in nuclear projects. The move sparked rumours that forthcoming Areva EPR units could boast attractive new looks.


Reporters for Building magazine spoke to some of the architects contacted by EDF Energy. The publication found that Foster & Partners was too busy for any nuclear work, while Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners had a blanket ban on designing any power plants. A commentator proposed that involving architects would add value to nuclear projects.


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EDF Energy told World Nuclear News it had "arranged for presentations to be made by specific architectural firms to demonstrate their capability and experience to work on specific architectural elements." A spokesman insisted this was nothing unusual and a "very, very initial step in the process of new build."


Nevertheless the move lit hopes that improving the appearance of new nuclear power plants could perhaps help to recreate some of the excitement that surrounded nuclear technology in the 1950s. EDF Energy said: "One element we will be consulting on as we develop our plans is the visual impact the plants will have."