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France's next-gen nuclear reactor gets green light

By AFP

May 7, 2024 11:16 PM


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France's nuclear safety regulator on Tuesday gave the green light for a next-generation EPR nuclear reactor in Normandy to be put into service, some 12 years later than initially planned.

The authorisation by the ASN regulator means that the Flamanville reactor, located on the English Channel in Normandy, can be filled with fuel and begin testing in the coming months, the agency's deputy director Julien Collet told AFP.

With France's government wanting to build 14 new nuclear reactors, the development is welcome news for state-owned energy company EDF after multiple problems extended construction to 17 years and caused massive budget overruns.

EDF hopes to have the reactor up to full power by the end of the year.

The French-developed European Pressurised Reactor project, launched in 1992, was designed to relaunch nuclear power in Europe after the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe in Soviet Ukraine, and is touted as offering more efficient power output and better safety.

But construction of the Flamanville reactor was beset by numerous problems as similar design reactors in China and Finland came online ahead of it.

It will be the only one of its type built in France as new projects are for a simplified EPR2 version.


AFP


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