December 14, 2018

Bernard Fontana's statement - EPR: the first Generation III+ nuclear reactor enters commercial operation

The Taishan 1 EPR reactor in China has now entered the commercial operation phase. Following the first chain reaction which took place on June 6, 2018, then successful connection to the power grid on June 29 and the achievement of 100% power on October 30, this new milestone marks the final step of this major project.

As designer of the EPR, Framatome, now part of the EDF group, is delighted to witness the commercial start-up of the Taishan 1 project, a milestone that rewards the teams' sustained efforts over recent years. I especially thank our employees around the world for their unwavering commitment through this great adventure. I also want to state how proud I am that we can count among the people of Framatome, professionals with such proven expertise in the design and manufacture of reactor components, I&C and nuclear fuel systems, as well as in reactor construction, commissioning, test and maintenance. For six decades now, we have been capitalizing on this experience for the safe and reliable operation of our customers' nuclear reactors around the world.

Today, Framatome is involved in the construction and commissioning of six EPR reactors worldwide: 2 units in China at Taishan, 1 unit in Finland at Olkiluoto, 1 unit in France at Flamanville, and 2 units in the United Kingdom at Hinkley Point. The company will be contributing all its expertise as NSSS specialist to serve future new build EPR reactor projects alongside EDF.


The EPR reactor, flagship of the French nuclear industry

The EPR is a "Generation III+" nuclear reactor, which means that it benefits from significant technological advances in terms of nuclear and occupational safety. Its design incorporates the operational experience (OPEX) from around one hundred nuclear reactor projects built by Framatome all around the world. The EPR reactor offers economic benefits for electrical utility customers, including reduced generating costs, enhanced fuel use, reduced waste volumes, increased operating flexibility, optimized outage times and improved operating ergonomics leading to health benefits for personnel.

The EPR reactor generates a net electrical power output of 1,650 MW, making it the largest electrical generating unit ever built, designed for a service life of 60 years.

Bernard Fontana, Chairman of the Managing Board and CEO of Framatome