[Flamanville EPR Series 3] Discover the Video on Fuel Loading

Dive into the heart of Flamanville’s EPR with an exclusive video on fuel loading. This precise operation marks the official commencement of operations for the 57th reactor in the French nuclear fleet.

For the first time in over twenty years, the initial core loading of a power reactor has been carried out in France. Last May, the Flamanville EPR (Manche) reached this crucial milestone. Such an operation will not be repeated for about a decade, with the launch of the first EPR2 at Penly (Seine-Maritime). EDF retraces this meticulous work in the video below:

The video reveals that a specialised team handled the 241 fuel assemblies, placed with millimeter precision in the EPR’s vessel. Each movement had to be perfect, as “once started, the loading operation cannot be interrupted,” according to EDF.

Each fuel assembly was carefully moved, checked, and horizontally placed for its transfer to the reactor building. Each one, having a specific enrichment rate, had to be installed in a dedicated slot in the core. At the end of this operation, EDF declared: “The Flamanville EPR is now the 57th French reactor in operation.”

As for the next steps, on May 28th, SFEN organised a webinar with Alain Morvan, Project Director of Flamanville 3, and Christophe Quintin, Chief Inspector of the ASN. They detailed the subsequent steps after loading: reaching 110°C, the first divergence, the power ramp-up, and even the first reactor outage planned for the end of 2025. ■

By Ludovic Dupin (Sfen)

Image: Loading the Flamanville EPR @EDF