European Pressurized Reactor


European Pressurized Reactor

The EPR (or US-EPR for the United States specific design) is a third generation pressurized water reactor (PWR) design. It has been designed and developed mainly by Framatome (now Areva NP) and Electricité de France (EDF) in France, and Siemens AG in Germany. This reactor design was first called European Pressurized Reactor, and for a time given the internationalized name Evolutionary Power Reactor, but is now simply named EPR by Areva.

As of 2007, two EPR units were under construction, one each in Finland and France. Two additional units were planned as part of China's tenth economic plan, to start construction in 2009. In July 2008 the French President announced a second EPR would be built in France due to high oil and gas prices. [citation|title=Second new reactor for France|publisher=World Nuclear News|date=3 July 2008|url=http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_Second_new_reactor_for_France_0307082.html|accessdate=2008-07-03] A site for this is to be chosen in 2009 and construction should start in 2011.

Design

The main design objectives of the generation 3+ EPR design are increased safety while providing enhanced economic competitiveness through evolutionary improvements to previous PWR designs scaled up to an electrical power output of 1.6 GWe. The reactor can use 5% enriched uranium oxide fuel, optionally with up to 50% mixed uranium plutonium oxide fuel.citation |url=http://www.epr-reactor.co.uk/scripts/ssmod/publigen/content/templates/show.asp?P=139&L=EN |title=UK EPR Safety, Security and Environmental Report - submission to UK Health and Safety Executive |date=2007|publisher=Areva NP and EDF|accessdate=2008-04-16] The EPR is the evolutionary descendant of the Framatome N4 and Siemens Power Generation Division KONVOI reactors.citation |url=http://www.areva-np.com/common/liblocal/docs/Brochure/EPR_US_%20May%202005.pdf |title=EPR - Areva brochure|publisher=Areva NP|date=May 2005 |accessdate=2008-01-02]

The EPR design has several active and passive protection measures against accidents:
* Four independent emergency cooling systems, each capable of cooling down the reactor after shutdown (ie. 300% redundancy).
* Leaktight containment around the reactor.
* An extra container and cooling area if a molten core manages to escape the reactor (see containment building).
* Two-layer concrete wall with total thickness 2.6 meters, designed to withstand impact by aeroplanes and internal overpressure.

The EPR has a design maximum core damage frequency of 6.1 × 10–7 per plant per year. [ " [http://www.epr-reactor.co.uk/ssmod/liblocal/docs/V3/Volume%202%20-%20Design%20and%20Safety/2.R%20-%20Probabilistic%20Safety%20Assessment/2.R.1%20-%20Level%201%20Probabilistic%20Safety%20Assessment%20-%20v2.pdf EPR Level 1 Probabilistic Safety Assessment] ". Author: UK EPR.]

The Union of Concerned Scientists has referred to the EPR as the only new reactor design under consideration in the United States that "...appears to have the potential to be significantly safer and more secure against attack than today's reactors." cite web|title=Nuclear Power in a Warming World|work=Union of Concerned Scientists|url=http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nuclear_power/nuclear-power-in-a-warming-world.pdf|accessmonthday=October 1 |accessyear=2008]

Pilot power plant

The Olkiluoto 3 [ [http://www.ol3.areva-np.com/ OLKILUOTO 3 PROJECT by AREVA] ] power plant in Finland, initially scheduled to go online in 2009, [ [http://www.ol3.areva-np.com/project/chrono.htm CHRONOLOGY OF OLKILUOTO 3 PROJECT by AREVA] ] , will be the first EPR reactor built and the first Generation 3+ reactor to be built in the world. The construction is a joint effort of French Areva and German Siemens AG through their common subsidiary Areva NP, for Finnish operator TVO. Initial cost estimates were about about 3.7 billion. [ [http://www.de.framatome-anp.com/anp/e/foa/anp/press/anp054.htm EPR IN FINLAND: FOUNDATION STONE-LAYING DAY AT OLKILUOTO 3 by AREVA] ]

Progress

In May 2006 construction delays of about one year were announced, following quality control problems across the construction. In part the delays were due to the lack of oversight of subcontractors inexperienced in nuclear construction. [ [http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2037524 Regulator reports as OL3 delays reach one year, 19 July 2006, by "Nuclear Engineering International"] . ] [ [http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2036021 Concrete composition delays Finland's Olkiluoto 3] , "Nuclear Engineering International", 9 May 2006.] The delays led to disappointing financial results for the Areva NP. It blamed delays on the Finnish approach to approving technical documentation and designs. [ [http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectioncode=132&storyCode=2039298 Areva’s first half results hit by Olkiluoto 3 delays, 2 October 2006, by "Nuclear Engineering International"] . ] [ [http://www.largeassociates.com/3149%20Olkiluoto/R3149-A1%20Final%20Issue.pdf European Pressurised Reactor at Olkiluoto 3, Finland - Brief & Interim Review of the Porosity and Durability Properties of the In Situ Cast Concrete at the Olkiluoto EPR Construction Site, June 2006, Large & Associates] . ]

In December 2006 TVO announced construction was about 18 months behind schedule so completion was now expected 2010–11, and there were reports that Areva was preparing to take a 500 million charge on its accounts for the delay. [ [http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?Feed=AP&Date=20061204&ID=6245665 Finland nuclear reactor delayed again] , Associated Press, 4 December 2006. ] [ [http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2006/12/05/afx3228309.html Areva to take 500 mln eur charge for Finnish reactor delay] , "Forbes", 5 December 2006.]

At the end of June 2007 it was reported that Säteilyturvakeskus, the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, had found a number of safety-related design and manufacturing 'deficiencies'. [ [http://www.newscientisttech.com/channel/tech/mg19426103.200-nuclear-industry-revival-hits-roadblocks.html Nuclear industry revival hits roadblocks] , "New Scientist", published 2007-06-29, accessed 2007-07-05.] In August 2007 a further construction delay of up to a year was reported associated with construction problems in reinforcing the reactor building to withstand an airplane crash, and the timely supply of adequate documentation to the Finnish authorities. [ [http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newNuclear/Dates_revised_again_for_Olkiluoto_3_100807.shtml Dates revised again for Olkiluoto 3] , "World Nuclear News", 10 August 2007.] [ [http://www.huliq.com/30247/nuclear-industrys-flagship-plant-delayed-again Nuclear industry's flagship plant delayed again] , Huliq, 2007-08-11.] [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20215943/ Areva delay threatens China contract] , MSNBC, 10 August 2007.]

In September 2007 TVO reported the construction delay as "at least two years" and costs more than 25% over budget. [ cite news |url=http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aFh1ySJ.lYQc |title=Nuclear Bid to Rival Coal Chilled by Flaws, Delay in Finland |author=Alan Katz |publisher=Bloomberg |date=2007-09-05|accessdate=2008-06-17] Cost estimates by analysts for the over-run range up to 1.5 billion. [ [http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/AFX-0013-21958415.htm Areva-Siemens sees Olkiluoto 3 reactor operational in summer 2011] , CNN, 31 December 2007.]

Flamanville 3 (second unit)

First concrete was poured for the demonstration EPR reactor at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant on December 6, 2007. [ "Nuclear Engineering International". [http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2048041 Flamanville 3 concrete poured] .] This will be the third unit on the site and the second EPR ever constructed. Electrical output will be 1.6 GWe and it is projected to cost 3.3 billion Euros.EDF Official Site - Flamanville 3 [http://www.edf.fr/html/epr/uk/projet.html] ] The following is a condensed timeline for the unit:

*From October 19, 2005 to February 18, 2006 the project was submitted to a national public debate.
*On May 4, 2006 the decision was made by EDF’s Board of Directors to continue with the construction.
*Between June 15 and July 31, 2006 the unit underwent a public enquiry, which rendered a "favorable opinion" on the project. [cite web
url= http://construction.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0249-218321_ITM_platts
title= Public inquiry commission favors plan to build Flamanville-3 EPR
date= 05-OCT-06 |format=link to article |publisher= "Nucleonics Week"
accessdate= 2008-06-17
]
*In Summer 2006 site preparation works began.
*In December 2007 construction of the unit itself began. This is expected to last 54 months.
*Final commissioning of the plant is planned for 2012.

Protests

*On March 17, 2007 simultaneous protests were staged by Sortir du nucléaire in five French towns to protest construction of EPR plants; Rennes, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, and Strasbourg.cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title =French protests over EPR
work =
pages =
language =
publisher ="Nuclear Engineering International"
date =2007-04-03
url =http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2043436
accessdate =2007-04-10
] [cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title =France hit by anti-nuclear protests
work =
pages =
language =
publisher ="Evening Echo"
date =2007-04-03
url =http://www.eveningecho.ie/news/bstory.asp?j=13919232&p=y39y9z78&n=13919320
accessdate =2007-04-10
] [cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title =Anti-nuclear rallies fill French cities
work =
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language =
publisher =AP News
date =2007-03-17
url =http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FRANCE_NUCLEAR_PROTESTS?SITE=COBOU&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
accessdate =2007-04-10
]
*On April 26, 2007 (the 21st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster) around 30 protesters blocked entrances and chained themselves to cranes at the EPR site in Flamanville, some remaining on the site for 24 hours. A truck was also parked in front of the entrance to block its access.cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title =Greenpeace assault on EPR
work =
pages =
language =
publisher ="Nuclear Engineering International"
date =2007-05-01
url =http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2044039
accessdate =2007-05-16
]

Progress

In April 2008 the French nuclear safety agency ("Autorité de sûreté nucléaire", ASN) reported that a quarter of the welds inspected in the secondary containment steel liner are not in accordance with norms, and that cracks have been found in the concrete base. EDF stated that progress is being made on these issues raised very early in construction, [cite news |url=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/defects-found-in-nuclear-reactor-the-french-want-to-build-in-britain-808461.html |title=Defects found in nuclear reactor the French want to build in Britain |author=Geoffrey Lean and Jonathan Owen |date=2008-04-13 |publisher=The Independent |accessdate=2004-04-19] however on 21 May ASN ordered a suspension of concrete pouring on the site. [cite news|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSL2762459720080527|title=French nuke body partly halts work on new reactor|date=2008-05-27|publisher=Reuters|accessdate=2008-05-27] A month later concreting work resumed after ASN accepted EDF's corrective action plan which included external oversight checks. [cite news|url=http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_EdF_allowed_to_continue_concreting_2006081.html|title= EdF allowed to continue concreting|date=2008-06-20|publisher=World Nuclear News|accessdate=2008-06-21]

Future power plants

Abu Dhabi

In January 2008, French president Nicolas Sarkozy signed a deal that will allow two EPR units to be constructed in Abu Dhabi by Total, Suez and Areva. This will be the first entry of Total in the field of nuclear energy. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7221714 Sarkozy confirms plans for UAE nuclear deal-paper] - Lin Noueihed - "The Guardian" January 13 2008. ]

China

In 2006, there was a bidding in process to build four new EPR reactors in China, [ [http://english.people.com.cn/200409/12/eng20040912_156691.html Foreign energy giants bid for China's nuclear contracts, September 12, 2004, People's Daily Online] ] and an intent to market EPRs in the United States with Constellation Energy. [ [http://www.unistarnuclear.com/09-05release.html Unistar Nuclear, September 15, 2005] ] In April 2006, Areva SA lost this bid in favor Westinghouse Electric Company to build four AP1000 reactors, because of its refusal to transfer the expertise and knowledge to China. Nevertheless in February 2007 Areva won another deal, worth about 5 billion, for two other nuclear reactors located in Guangdong, in southern China in spite of sticking to its previous conditions. [ cite news |url=http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2007/07/30/afx3965097.html |title=Signing of Areva EPR order in China delayed - French source |date=2007-07-30 |publisher="Forbes" |accessdate=2007-08-01] The local partner for this project is [http://www.cgnpc.com.cn/n1093/n463576/n463598/ China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co.]

In November 2007, French president Nicolas Sarkozy signed a $12 billion deal that will allow the third and fourth EPR units to be constructed in China. [ "Nuclear Engineering International". [http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2047971 Record-breaking deal for Areva/China Guangdong] .]

United Kingdom

EDF said it will propose, in partnership with Areva, its EPR model of nuclear reactors to the UK government. [cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title =RPT EDF says will propose EPR nuclear reactors to UK in partnership with Areva
work =
pages =
language =
publisher =Forbes.com
date =2007-05-23
url = http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/05/23/afx3750492.html
accessdate =2007-05-23
]

United States

The US-EPR is one of the major competitors for the next generation of nuclear plants in the United States, along with the AP1000 and the ESBWR. It is currently in the Design Certification Application Review process at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with expectation to submit an application for final design approval and standard design certification on December 14, 2007. [citation|url=http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-licensing/design-cert/epr.html|title=Design Certification Application Review – U.S. EPR|publisher=Nuclear Regulatory Commission|accessdate=2008-07-03] UniStar, Amarillo Power, PPL Corp and AmerenUE have announced plans to file a Combined Construction and Operating License application in 2008 for the US-EPR. Unistar filed a partial application in July 2007 for a proposed third unit at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland. Both UniStar and Amarillo Power have expressed interest in building two reactors while AmerenUE announced plans for just one. [Uranium Information Centre. [http://www.uic.com.au/nip58.htm Nuclear power in the USA] .]

ee also

*Economics of new nuclear power plants
*Nuclear power by country
*Generation III reactor
*Other Gen III designs
**AP1000
**ESBWR
**ABWR
**US-APWR
**ACR

External links

* [http://www.areva.com Areva]
* [http://www.areva-np.com/scripts/info/publigen/content/templates/show.asp?P=1655&L=US&SYNC=Y Official EPR webpage]
* [http://www.areva-np.com/common/liblocal/docs/Brochure/EPR_US_%20May%202005.pdf The EPR - Areva brochure]
* [http://www.internationalistreview.com/article.php?id=17 Dossier by the e-journal Internationalist Review about the future EPR site in Cherbourg, France] in French
* [http://www.largeassociates.com/R3123-a2%20final%20Issue.pdf European Pressurised Reactor at Olkiluoto 3, Finland] , Large & Associates (Consulting Engineers) for Greenpeace
* [http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/assessment-of-the-operational.pdf Operational risks and hazards of the EPR when subject to aircraft crash] , Large & Associates (Consulting Engineers) for Greenpeace
* [http://www.largeassociates.com/3149%20Olkiluoto/R3149-A1%20Final%20Issue.pdf European Pressurised Reactor at Olkiluoto 3, Finland - Brief & Interim Review of the Porosity and Durability Properties of the In Situ Cast Concrete at the Olkiluoto EPR Construction Site, June 2006. Large & Associates (Consulting Engineers)]

Bibliography

* [http://www.info-france-usa.org/intheus/nuclear/n2f2/Fall2004.asp NUCLEAR NOTES FROM FRANCE Fall 2004, Embassy of France in the US]
* [http://www.largeassociates.com/3155%20Jersey/3155-R1%20-%20Draft%2031%20July%202006.pdf Large John H, Exploratory Review of the EdF Presentation in Support of the Proposal to Construct, Commission and Operate a 3rd Nuclear Power Plant at Flamanville, France, States of Jersey, August 2006]

References


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