gasoline loading postponed to “mid-April” no less than | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

HASAfter 12 years late, what are two or three further weeks? The gasoline loading of EDF's Flamanville EPR reactor, a web site marked by repeated setbacks, has been postponed till no less than mid-April as a substitute of March 31 as initially deliberate by the electrical energy group, the Electricity Authority stated on Tuesday. nuclear security (ASN).

The science and tech e-newsletter

Every Saturday at 4 p.m.

Receive all the most recent science and tech information and dive into main talks, main discoveries, improvements and behind the scenes…

Your registration has been taken under consideration with the e-mail deal with:

To uncover all our different newsletters, go right here: MyAccount

By registering, you settle for the final circumstances of use and our confidentiality coverage.

“In the coming days, ASN will launch the consultation on the draft commissioning decision, that is to say, we will submit it to public comments for at least 15 days. […] or even 3 weeks, and at the end the ASN will take the commissioning decision,” defined the protection authority to AFP, confirming info from Les Échos.

READ ALSO Nuclear: the development web site of the primary SMR sparks debate“Indeed, that pushes us back to mid-April,” added the spokesperson in reference to the commissioning determination, “a prerequisite” for EDF to have the ability to load the nuclear gasoline rods into the reactor. Given the “incompressible deadlines” for this session, gasoline loading, a key milestone for beginning the reactor, will due to this fact not have the ability to happen earlier than “mid-April”, ASN estimated.

On this date, the deadline for commissioning the set up, set at April 10 within the creation authorization decree, may have expired however that is “without immediate consequence”, and “does not prevent ASN from authorizing commissioning of the reactor,” ASN explained to AFP in mid-March.

Final checks on the tank

Until now, the EDF group had announced fuel loading in the first quarter of 2024, an objective repeated several times. But the Safety Authority warned in January that the schedule was “tense” due to the final conformity checks to be carried out on certain pressure equipment, such as the vessel, the centerpiece of a nuclear reactor.

These latest exchanges extended the duration of the investigation of the file which was finally completed “last week”, ASN told AFP.

This consultation at the end of which the ASN will issue its commissioning opinion, taking into account the public's comments or not, is the epilogue of a river project, 17 years after the launch of the construction of the Normandy EPR, marked by numerous cost and schedule slippages.

Connection to the community mid-2024

“After loading the reactor with nuclear fuel, start-up operations will continue, including checks of all safety-related systems, tests and qualifications of equipment carried out throughout the rise in temperature and pressure of the reactor. boiler, then during the rise in power of the reactor. At 25% power, the production unit will be connected to the national electricity network,” detailed EDF in December 2022.

For the second, the date of “coupling”, that’s to say its connection to the community, is maintained at mid-2024, in accordance with the most recent regulatory info from EDF revealed in December 2023.

If the start-up is confirmed in the summertime of 2024, it can due to this fact happen 12 years late on the deliberate schedule, for a complete invoice now estimated at 13.2 billion euros, in accordance with EDF, or 4 occasions the preliminary finances of three .3 billion euros.