EDF has completed the cold functional test phase for the Flamanville EPR, ending a test phase that started on Dec. 18, the company said.
This stage is part of the system performance testing, which started in the first quarter of 2017, to check and test operation of all the EPR systems. The successful completion of cold functional testing saw the completion of the leak performance testing on the primary system while under a pressure greater than 240 bar, which is higher than the pressure of the system will endure during operations, the company said.
More than 500 welds were inspected during this hydrostatic testing, which was supervised by the Nuclear Safety Authority.
The company is now preparing hot functional testing, which is expected to begin in July 2018. Hot functional tests seek to determine how the plant components operate with temperature and pressure levels similar to operating conditions.
More than 1,000 EDF and industry partner engineers and technicians have been mobilized to perform these system performance tests.
At this point, EDF said it had confirmed the Flamanville 3 project time line announced in September 2015. Under that schedule, fuel loading and start-up of the reactor is expected at the end of the last quarter of 2018. With the end of construction and preparations in sight, EDF has also confirmed the cost of the project set at 10.5 billion euros or $12.7 billion.
The Flammanville Unit 3 project has been hit by significant delays since construction began in December 2007. The original cost of the third reactor for the facility was estimated at $3.9 billion.
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