The EPR under construction at Flamanville in northern France is now expected to begin operating in 2017, EDF has announced. The company attributed the further delay to the delivery of certain components and regulatory issues.
The scene of the Flamanville EPR construction site in September 2014 (Image: EDF)
“Preparatory work in connection with the project review that will take place at end of November with all suppliers has shown a shift in the construction schedule,” EDF said on 18 November. It said that the plant is now scheduled to start in 2017 instead of the earlier planned 2016.
EDF said the delayed completion of the Flamanville EPR results from “difficulties encountered” by supplier Areva in the delivery of certain pieces of equipment and the “implementation of the regulation on equipment under nuclear pressure (ESPN).”
According to EDF, Areva has had problems delivering the reactor vessel head and the internal structures of the vessel. It said that Areva has also provided an update on the ongoing analysis performed on the steam generators’ welding defect, on qualification tests of the pressurizer valves, and on a detailed metallurgical analysis of the vessel head material.
Areva suspends outlook
The announcement of the further delay in construction of the Flamanville EPR came as Areva said it was suspending its financial outlook for 2015 and 2016.
Areva said the suspension was the result of several factors. These include the rescheduling of the completion of the Olkiluoto EPR and uncertainty about when it would receive payments from its customer, TVO. The rescheduling of other new nuclear start-ups was also a factor, as was the continued shut down of Japan’s reactors.
The company said, “In the framework of the ongoing budget process, Areva is currently working on an enhancement of its performance plan to adapt to market conditions which remain unfavourable.”
With regards to problems in implementing ESPN standards, EDF said that this particularly applies to “a set of assembly [sic] carried out by Areva and its subcontractors.”
“This new information will be shared with all suppliers and will be integrated in the construction schedule, with a view to adapt and coordinate the work on site,” EDF said. The forthcoming project review, it added, “will allow, with the group of subcontractors, to define accurately the consequences of the information now available to the group in order to take all the necessary decisions for the completion of construction.”
Construction work began on the 1650 MWe unit at the Normandy site in December 2007. EDF is architect engineer of the project, while Areva is contributing the nuclear steam supply system and Bouygues Construction is leading the civil engineering consortium. The dome of the reactor building was put in place in mid-July 2013, while the reactor vessel was installed in January. The reactor was originally expected to start commercial operation in 2013, but its expected start-up was later pushed back to 2016.
EPRs are also under construction at Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Taishan 1 and 2 in China. Olkiluoto 3 has been under construction since 2005 and has seen several revisions to its start-up date, which is now expected by 2018. Taishan 1, which has been under construction since 2009, is expected to start up in 2016, while Taishan 2 is scheduled to begin operating a year later.
EDF said, “In spite of these construction contingencies, EDF reaffirms its commitment to new nuclear in France, China and the United Kingdom.”
Source: World Nuclear News
Assystem present at the first international nuclear exhibition
From the 14th to 16th October 2014, the first edition of the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) will take place at the Bourget. This biennial convention is dedicated to French and international players within the nuclear industry. Assystem will be present at the exhibition with an exhibitor space on booth E 46.
14th of October
From 11am to 1pm : Dominique Louis, Assystem’s President Director General will participate in the round table presided by Luc Oursel, President of Areva, to discuss the role of technology in the nuclear sector entitled « Safe, Proven Technologies for Reactors and Fuel Cycle ».
From 3pm to 4pm: Assystem’s experts will lead a workshop conference on the theme «The Importance of PMC in Nuclear New Build Programs: an Engineering Consultancy Perspective.
15th of October
Meet our experts on our stand for a business day. Take this opportunity to discover our offers within the nuclear domain:
- Project Management
- Engineering Design
- EPCm (Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management)
- Systems Integration
16th of October
It will be an open day for nuclear students who will be able to meet our experts and recruiters. The latest will present the range of tasks Assystem’s engineers are leading on the most advanced nuclear projects: from the very upstream in the evolution of the nuclear program with estimation and optimization studies of the investments, conceptualization and coordination, to the downstream with the operations, construction, commissioning, maintenance and decommissioning of the installations.
On this same day, Assystem will also highlight its internal training institute ANI (Assystem Nuclear Institute) in which Assystem’s experts have trained generations of nuclear engineers. The institute was founded in 2008 and celebrates its 5th year anniversary during the exhibition.
Dounreay waste retrieval deal
UK-based engineering company James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) has won a £5 million ($7.6 million) contract for the retrieval and processing of radioactive waste from a 65-metre deep shaft and a wet silo at the Dounreay site.
Under the contract, described by the company as “the world’s deepest nuclear clean-up job”, JFN will supply a suite of remote handling equipment over a two-year period. The main mechanism for retrieval will be a hydraulic grab deployed from an electric overhead travelling crane located in a new facility above the silo. To support the project, JFN will construct a “significant” test facility at its site in Cumbria in north-western England to carry out inactive testing and operator training, before delivering the equipment to Dounreay in northernmost Scotland.
The emptying and closure of the two Dounreay waste facilities is one of the most important and challenging tasks in the decommissioning of the site, which was home to the UK’s fast reactor research efforts from the 1950s until the early 1990s. Unconditioned intermediate level waste (ILW) from operations at Dounreay was disposed of in the unlined shaft from 1958 until 1977. From 1971, the concrete-lined silo was used for routine disposal of ILW at the site, with the shaft used only for items too large for the silo.
The last disposal to the silo was made in 1998, after which the UK government announced a decision to empty both the shaft and silo. Since 2012, responsibility for decommissioning the Dounreay site has rested with the Babcock Dounreay Partnership consortium, after it took ownership of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL). The use of proven, commercially available off-the-shelf equipment wherever possible is a feature of the decommissioning team’s approach.
According to JFN, the deal is potentially the first of a number of contracts relating to the decommissioning of the high-hazard Dounreay facilities. JFN has provided remote handling systems at Sellafield and UK Magnox sites but managing director Paul Read said the contract represented a “first” for the deployment of the company’s capability at Dounreay. “Our specialised remote handling skills are directly applicable to the challenges that the Dounreay site faces. We’re keen to get started,” he said.
Source: World Nuclear News
Plans whoosh on for commercial liquid air energy plant
Plans are whooshing onwards for a new commercial scale power plant which uses air to make electricity.
National Grid, engineers at Costain and energy technology firm Highview Power Storage have teamed up to submit a feasibility study of the proposed liquid air energy storage plant as part of DECC’s energy storage demonstration competition.
Building at the power plant will begin in the summer if it gets final consent. The grid scale plant will have an output of 6MW with enough space to store around five hours of operation (30MWhs), making it the largest demonstration of new energy storage technology in the UK.
Highview has already run a successful pilot scheme proving surplus electricity can be used to liquefy air, store it until needed and warm it to generate electricity.
Source: Energy Live News
First selection of Atmea1 nuclear reactor
Turkey stands to be the first country to use the Atmea1 reactor design by Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). An accord signed today could see four of the units deployed at Sinop in the early 2020s.
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to the country today and the pair signed an agreement that provides for the construction of a new nuclear power plant at Sinop featuring Atmea1 pressurized water reactors.
The official Invest In Turkey website described the accord as granting “exclusive negotiating rights to build a nuclear power plant.” The end result is expected to be a contract for up to four reactor units, at an expected cost of $22 billion, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Turkey begun its nuclear power program in May 2010 with a contract with the Russian nuclear industry to build four Gidropress AES-2006 1200 MWe pressurized water reactors at Akkuyu. These will be 75% owned by Russia and 25% by Turkey. Site preparation has already started and the units are slated to begin operation one by one from 2019.
Source: World Nuclear News
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