In the News: AVERA EPR
Facts about AREVA's EPR™ reactor: • It is an evolutionary 1,600+ MWe net pressurized water reactor design based on well-proven technology. The EPR is the world’s most advanced reactor design currently under construction. • It is the first Generation III+ design actually being built anywhere in the world. • EPR™ technology incorporates significant improvements in safety and economics over previous technologies, providing lower total lifecycle costs and the greatest physical safety for the 21st century’s energy scenarios.EPR™ design chosen by UniStar Nuclear:The EPR™ design was chosen by UniStar Nuclear as its reference technology because it is the only third-generation reactor under construction in the world. Indeed, four EPR™ reactors are currently under construction around the world, and ten utilities have chosen this technology. UniStar Nuclear is a U.S. joint venture established and co-directed by Constellation Energy and AREVA. Its mission is to promote, market, certify and build the U.S. EPR™ in the United States in order to develop a standardized fleet of reactors. The design of the U.S. EPR™ reactor, which will be built in the United States by Americans with primarily U.S.-sourced content, will benefit from experience gained from four EPR™ reactors currently under construction around the world, including one in Finland, one in France, and two in China. The EPR™ design is based on several thousand reactor-years of operational experience (from light-water reactors) worldwide.
AREVA application for U.S. EPR design certification accepted by U.S. NRC in early 2008: AREVA's Reactors & Services Division submitted the U.S. EPR™ design certification application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in late 2007, and the NRC accepted it in February 2008.
The reactor containment building has two walls: an inner pre-stressed concrete housing with a metallic liner (2) and an outer reinforced concrete shell (1). It houses the reactor coolant system, whose main components are the reactor vessel (3), the steam generators (4), the pressurizer (5) and the reactor coolant pumps (6).Inside the containment building, it is located a specially-designed corium spreading area (7). In the event of core meltdown, this is where any molten core escaping from the reactor vessel would be collected, retained and cooled. The turbine, the alternator and the transformer are housed in the turbine building (8). This equipment transforms steam into electricity. The transformer is connected to the grid.Diesel generators, housed in two separate buildings (9), supply electricity to the safety functions, in the event of a power blackout.
The main safety systems are organized into four sub-systems or "trains". Each is capable of providing 100% safety functions alone. Each train is installed in one of the four emergency buildings (1), separated by the reactor building (2). Simultaneous failure of the trains is thereby avoided.
The outershell (1) covers:
The other two safegard buildings are protected by being in a different location (4).
The entire plant is monitored and operated from the control room where all operating data is centralized. It is located in one of the safeguard buildings and is protected by the outer shell.The control room is extremely user-friendly. The design takes account of the latest technological developments and operating feedback from existing plants.From the earliest stages of the project, the human-machine interface has been a top priority. The computerised control room is equipped with the most up-to-date digital technology, giving operators full control over all parameters important for plant operation. The reliability of the operators’ actions is further improved by the quality and relevance of real-time summary data for the reactor and plant.
A remote shutdown station can be used in the unlikely event that the control room is unavailable.