Safety objectives for the EPR 1200 were judged satisfactory by the ASN

At the request of the French government, the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) has issued an opinion on the safety options file for the EPR 1200. The opinion is broadly similar to that of the EPR2, from which it is derived: the general safety objectives are judged satisfactory.

“The Nuclear Safety Authority may examine, at the government’s request, the conformity of safety options for nuclear installation models intended for export with the obligations applicable in France to the same type of installation,” explains the ASN in a press release published on February 1. This is the case for the EPR 1200, which is intended solely for export. The reactor, whose power is lower than that of the EPR (1,600 MW), is currently being proposed by EDF to the Czech Republic and is intended to meet the constraints of the Dukovany site. It should also expand the French offer by placing it between the EPR and the Nuward SMR (2×170 MW) in terms of power.

Satisfactory safety objectives

The EPR 1200 is derived from the EPR 2, whose “general safety objectives, safety baseline, and main design options are globally satisfactory,” judged the ASN in its July 2019 opinion. The ASN has published an opinion along the same lines, stressing that “the general safety objectives selected for the EPR1200 reactor project are consistent with those defined in the guide of July 18, 2017, which includes the safety objectives defined in 2010 for new reactors by the WENRA association (the Western European Nuclear Operators Association, editor’s note), which is satisfactory,” notes the ASN. In addition, the renewal of the maximum amount of equipment from the EPR 2 on the EPR 1200 “is likely to strengthen the safety margins,” the atomic watchdog stressed.■

Gaïc Le Gros (Sfen)

Photo: Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic. The competitive process is underway for the construction of unit 5. The French offer is based on the EPR 1200 ©CEZ