“The differences between theory and practice are greater in practice than in theory.”
Overview of Current EPR Projects
One of the so-called Generation III Pressurised Water Reactor types is AREVAʼs EPR. Its design is “evolutionary”; it was developed on the basis of the N4 and KONVOI reactors, the latest of the Generation II reactors in Germany and France, and is not radically different. (Almost all current commercial reactors are Generation II, and Generation III is currently being introduced.)
The EPR design is a result of the co-operation between the French and German power plant vendors Framatome and KWU/Siemens, together with the French EDF and the major German utilities such as E.ON, EnBW, and RWE Power, and in collaboration with the safety and regulatory authorities from these two countries. The EPR has a high power output of approximately 1600 MWe. There are some new features which are intended to improve the safety level; other modifications constitute a reduction of safety margins. It is not immediately apparent, and there is no guarantee, that the safety level of the EPR is significantly higher than that of its predecessors [HIRSCH 2005].
There are currently four EPR units under construction worldwide. In the US and UK, the EPR is undergoing the licensing or pre-licensing process.
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Assessment of I&C Problems of the EPR