EPR™: evolutionary design meets cutting-edge technology

The EPR™ is a 1,650 MWe Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR), the world’s first Generation III+ PWR to be built. The EPR™ reactors are innovative and yet built on sound and proven technology. Their optimised design is the result of early input from and cooperation with safety authorities and customers.

A highly evolved reactor

The EPR™ design is the fruit of decades of advanced R&D programmes, in particular those at the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) and the Karlsruhe Research Center in Germany. It is a direct descendent of the tested and proven French N4 and German KONVOI reactors from AREVA  and Siemens, the most modern and most powerful reactors in operation in France and Germany.

 

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The EPR™ reactor key assets

The generation III+ EPR™ reactor provided by AREVA is currently the latest development in pressurized water reactors (PWR). Safety, operational performance and competitiveness are the key strengths of the reactor. Today, it is under construction in Finland, France, and China. 3D visit.

Moreover, the EPR™ reactor was designed using direct input from both French and German safety authorities and has benefited from the active involvement of European nuclear utilities at the very earliest phases of its conception.  In addition, it has been developed simultaneously and in accordance with the European Utility Requirement (EUR) achieving the highest level of compliance with these Technical Guidelines.

As a result, the EPR™ reactor is optimised to meet the higher safety requirements of the new generation of nuclear power plants while offering very competitively priced electricity generation. At the cutting edge of a continuous innovation process, it features the following advances:

  • An outer Airplane Crash (APC) shell protects the reactor building, the used fuel building and two of the four safeguard buildings in the event of a collision with a large aircraft.
  • A core catcher allows passive collection and retention of the molten core should the reactor vessel fail in the unlikely event of a core melt.
  • Nuclear Safety is enhanced through a quadruple redundant safeguard system.
  • An axial economizer within each steam generator enables higher steam pressure and plant efficiency.
  • A heavy neutron reflector surrounding the reactor core improves fuel utilization and protect reactor pressure vessel against aging.
  • The user-friendly computerized control room provides quality information in real time.

I&C: piloting the plant

The I&C system design and associated equipment fully comply with process, nuclear safety, and operational requirements. Its subsystems use TELEPERM XS technology, AREVA’s digital I&C platform developed for safety and high-reliability functions in nuclear facilities.

The AREVA TELEPERM XS system is the first safety-related digital I&C system to receive approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is currently licensed and used in Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

An I&C with an eye for safety

The I&C system and equipment are in alignment with the principles of redundancy, diversity and separation commanding the EPR™ safety systems. As a result, the I&C system can continue operating even if one of its channels is unavailable due to a failure and a second is unavailable for preventive maintenance reasons.