Flamanville EPR: EDF has 'confidence' in schedule even if 'there isn't much leeway'

Flamanville EPR: EDF has ‘confidence’ in schedule even if ‘there isn’t much leeway’


(AFP / Samir El Doumi)

Several delays were announced at Flamaville in January, and the nuclear fuel loading is now expected in the second quarter of 2023.

Fuel loading from the Flamanville EPR (Manche) is scheduled for about a year. Monday, June 13, published EDF

His “confidence” in the calendar,

While acknowledging that they have low margins.

“The timeline that takes us to the fuel load in about a year is not

No schedule with much leeway,

But we trust him, ”said during a press conference Xavier Orsat, Director in charge of Engineering and New Nuclear Projects.

It is a “factory close to work”, “we can say today that we are in a position

Almost before exploitation”,

Saucepan. The site faced many difficulties, including the seams that had to be reconstructed.

“Obviously the first part of the critical path that gets us nearly a year from now until refueling is

Complete large welds

from the main secondary department, which has made a lot of progress” and then carry out “finishing works”. EDF will then have to conduct comprehensive tests from the beginning of next year and

Obtaining permission from the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN)

before starting.

Too many delays

EDF in January announced new delays at Flamanville, whose nuclear fuel loading is now expected in the second quarter of 2023. And so the site piles up

11 years later

Its estimated cost rose to 12.7 billion, compared to 3.3 billion originally planned.

After loading the fuel, the reactor will increase to 100% power.

gradually over several months.

Xavier Orsat said production on the power grid is scheduled for the second half of 2023.

China has the world’s first two EPRs to enter service, but one should be

was arrested last summer

because of an accident.

According to the EDF, the “pencils” containing the fuel pellets were damaged by the tiny springs. For Flamanville, EDF suggests to ASN that the springs in question take advantage of

Special heat treatment.

As a result of this problem, Xavier Orsat explained, “we will change the (fuel) assemblies that will be installed on the terminals” of the reactor core in Flamanville.

But this change is “compliant with the calendar” and this problem is “no

do not ask

EPR design,” he emphasized.

About six more EPRs in France

Several EDF reactors operating in France also had corrosion problems in certain circuits, which led to their shutdown.

According to Xavier Ursat, the formation of EPR circuits means that “the probability of this corrosion appearing under stress is low” but “it will be necessary to

Complete root cause analysis

Sure there are problems on the current fleet.

A third EPR has been completed in Finland, while two more are under construction in England. In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced in February a construction program

Six other EPRs in France,

With a study of eight other people.

“We know that this industrial program is fundamental to the country. It is up to us on the part of the EDF and the sector to be

Willing to employ him under better conditions,

Particularly by respecting schedules and costs,” emphasized Xavier Orsat.

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