Watching International EPR Projects Develop | AREVA North America: Next Energy Blog


Olkiluoto 3 Finland

Yes, we have faced challenges with the construction of the first EPR™ reactor, Olkiluoto 3 in Finland. AREVA will be the first to admit that this project is behind its ambitious original schedule and has been open about the entire process.

AREVA knows that as the leader we are in a prominent position and we expect to face questions and criticism. This level of scrutiny has not deterred AREVA from communicating on this project. Rather, AREVA has increased the standard for dialogue and level of transparency for nuclear projects. Recognizing the significance of this project, AREVA has made communicating on both our progress and delays a priority.

Being the first in the world to embark on construction of a generation III + reactor means being the first to break frozen Finnish ground, but also the first to revitalize the infrastructure, resources and supply chain necessary for this large scale project.

The construction of a new-generation nuclear facility, designed for a 60-year life-span, cannot be done over night. It is an intricate, detailed, endeavor that requires excellence in every aspect, the highest level of safety and transparency.

Getting it right takes time. Safety is, and has always been, the number one priority. Ensuring the highest level of quality and safety in reactor design and construction is always regarded as paramount and will never be sacrificed for the sake of maintaining a project schedule.

AREVA has taken the charge and let the industry in new construction. Now with four reactors under construction, each has a better learning curve than the last.

At Olkiluoto 3 the progress continues, with the main civil works completed. A critical milestone was achieved in June as we installed the first major component—the reactor pressure vessel. (Video)

Using the project management experience and incorporating lessons learned in Finland, AREVA’s EPR™ reactors in France and China are on a much tighter schedule than their respective predecessors.

The work on the second EPR™ reactor, Flamanville 3 in France, is progressing steadily, and AREVA is continuing its engineering, procurement and manufacturing work to meet customer expectations.

The third and fourth EPR™ reactors in China are a real success story in model deployment. In fact, the concrete pour for the Taishan 2 bare slab was actually two and a half months ahead of schedule. The recent project photos are an excellent display of the progress being made in China.

This experience means that when AREVA begins construction of its next reactor, which we hope will be a U.S. EPR™ reactor in the United States, AREVA and its project teams will have completed several others internationally, giving us the experience, insight, and workforce to put us ahead of the game.

TAGS: EPR reactor, Finland, Generation III, Olkiluoto 3

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