U.S. EPR™ Reactor
Customers can be confident that the AREVA EPR™ reactor is the most robust investment value for new nuclear thanks to more field experience in project economics and proven design.
U.S. EPR™ technology meets America’s needs
The EPR™ reactor has an electrical production capacity of more than 1650 MWe, which places it among the most powerful reactors in the world. A direct descendant of previous models manufactured by AREVA, the EPR™ pressurized water reactor is based on tried-and-tested technologies and principles. It is classified as an advanced generation reactor due to the level of safety obtained and the economic savings that it achieves in relation to the earlier models.
From a safety point of view, the EPR™ reactor ensures an unequalled safety level thanks to a drastic reduction of the probability of severe accidents as well as of their consequences on the environment. In addition, the EPR™ reactor is designed to resist severe external impact loads (airplane crashes, floods, etc.).
Economically, it achieves an unrivalled level of competitiveness because electricity production costs are reduced by 10%, compared with current plants. It also produces less waste.
With four reactors already under construction in Finland (Olkiluoto), in France (Flamanville) and in China (2 units in Taishan), AREVA is currently undergoing certification in the United States and is already incorporating important return on experience to reduce both time and cost of its first U.S. project.
- Unrivalled level of safety: Resistance to plane crashes; high seismic resistance; quadruple safety device redundancy; core meltdown risk further reduced and minimization of the consequences from such an accident thanks to a special compartment isolating the molten core.
- Active and passive safety systems: AREVA reactor designs leverage both active and passive technologies to provide complementary, diverse and redundant safety systems. The designs rely on an optimized combination of active and passive systems to achieve the required level of safety and through overall design consistency and ingenuity support that the level of safety improvement is achieved.
- High power: The power output of the EPR™ reactor originates from the size of its larger core, which is capable of holding more fuel, and its advanced nuclear steam supply system comprising 4 primary coolant loops.
- Reduced operating costs: Reduction in fuel consumption and easier system maintenance.
- Maximized electrical production through reliable components, proven technologies and maintenance during operation, permitting shorter unit outages.
- Environmental protection: Reduction in fuel consumption per kWh and production of long-life waste products (-15%) through improved thermal efficiency and uranium utilization.
- Unrivalled experience on large projects: AREVA is the only manufacturer to benefit from 40 years of continuous experience in the design and construction of nuclear power plants; there are three programs for construction of EPR™ plants underway, enabling AREVA to gather unrivalled experience; almost all primary circuit components are designed and manufactured by AREVA.
Innovation for performance
Innovation for performance
Two innovations contribute to the EPR™ reactor's high thermal efficiency:
- Steam generators with an axial economizer provide increased steam pressure and noticeably increase the reactor's thermal efficiency. These components were developed and tested in the N4-type reactors.
- A neutron reflector surrounding the core reduces fuel consumption by limiting neutron leakage. It increases the lifespan of the reactor pressure vessel by limiting its irradiation and its embrittlement.
Target design of service life: 60 years
- Load follow: Between 60 and 100% nominal output, the EPR™ reactor can adjust its power output at a rate of 5% nominal power per minute at constant temperature, preserving the service life of the components and of the plant.
- A varied choice of fuels: An EPR™ power plant can operate with uranium enriched up to 5%, reprocessed uranium or MOX fuel (in variable proportions according to customer needs and up to 100%).
- Irradiation cycle: Fuel cycle length possibility between 12 and 24 months, for better management of a power plant fleet.