The EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) is a 1600 MWe class reactor. This new generation reactor, designed to take over from the nuclear power plants currently in operation,, is being built by Areva. The first EPR in France is scheduled for service in 2016, at Flamanville in the Cotentin peninsula (Normandy).
The EPR should produce energy 10% per kWh cheaper than current nuclear power plants, and 20% cheaper than gas. This gain will be achieved through the increased power of the reactor (1600 MWe compared to 1450 MWe today), a decrease of 15% in the amount of uranium needed to produce the electricity, a service life of 60 years compared to 40 years for previous generation reactors, and construction times of less than 5 years.
Virtual image of the EPR nuclear reactor.
(Credits: Image & Process, AREVA NP)