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AREVA & EDF publish EPR reactor design for public comment

News brief


September 10, 2007

AREVA and EDF will launch a joint website publishing details of the EPR nuclear reactor, which they have submitted to the UK regulators for design assessment, on Monday (September 10).

The website is part of the nuclear reactor Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process and means the public can comment on the design of the EPR. EDF and AREVA welcome this public involvement which, along with the ongoing public consultation on new nuclear power, is important to achieve the widest possible consensus on addressing the UK's energy challenges.

The GDA is being conducted by the regulators (Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency) contingent on the outcome of the current public consultation on new nuclear energy.

The design AREVA and EDF have submitted is based on the EPR plant being built at Flamanville 3 in Normandy, France, and benefits from the expertise developed during the project.

EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "EDF Energy has played a leading role in the debate on how to meet future energy needs and public involvement is important to achieve agreement on the way forward."

"We are extremely pleased with AREVA to be able to contribute our unparalleled expertise and experience to this debate. EDF is the world's largest nuclear operator, responsible for 58 nuclear reactors for more than 20 years in France. We are convinced of the need for a diverse mix of low carbon sources including nuclear energy, which has very low levels of greenhouse gas emissions and which provides a safe, secure and competitive contribution to tackling climate change."

AREVA NP President Luc Oursel said: "The EPR GDA process has just started and the opportunity for the public to comment on the design reinforces and continues the process of transparency and public involvement which is reflected in the ongoing public consultation. In parallel with the joint GDA project with EDF, AREVA is supporting some seven other utilities interested in investigating new nuclear build in UK."

The EPR is based on pressurized water technology which is the most widely-used type of nuclear reactor in the world. It is an evolution of the technology and as a result, it benefits from all the know-how accumulated over decades of design, licensing, component manufacturing, construction and operation.

Details of the application, including a description of the EPR design, safety features and an environmental impact assessment, can be seen at:

Nuclear energy has made a major low-carbon contribution to the UK's needs for half a century. However the existing nuclear plants are programmed to close and the capacity they provide must be replaced.

Replacing them with gas fired power stations would reverse efforts to combat climate change by increasing the UK's carbon emissions by 4% or 29 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year - the equivalent of increasing the number of cars on the country's roads by 42%.

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The UK Nuclear Regulators (the Health and Safety Executive, and the Environment Agency) have developed a process for Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for new UK nuclear power stations. The aim is to produce a consistent and transparent process that can applied to the different reactor designs offered by several companies.

Under the Generic Design Assessment process, companies submit information on their reactor designs to the nuclear regulators, who assess this information before a full application is made to build a nuclear power station at a particular site.

The process involves a rigorous and structured examination of detailed design information by the regulators.At the end of their assessment (and at key stages during it) the regulators will issue reports on their findings, confirming whether they judge a design to be satisfactory.

EDF Energy is one of the UK's largest energy companies.

We provide power to a quarter of the UK's population via our electricity distribution networks in London, the South East and the East of England.We supply gas and electricity to 5.5 million customers and generate about 5GW of energy from our coal and gas power stations, as well as combined heat and power plants and wind farms.

The company is also a key player in national infrastructure projects, including the electrical upgrading of the London Underground, management of private electricity networks serving four London airports and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the country's first new railway in 100 years.

We employ nearly 13,000 people at locations across the UK. EDF Energy is a core part of EDF Group, one of the world's largest power companies.

The EDF Group, one of the leaders in the energy market in Europe, is an energy specialist that is active in all the businesses of electricity: production, transport, distribution, energy supply and trading.

The Group is the leading electricity producer in Europe. In France, it has mainly nuclear and hydraulic production facilities where 95 % of the electricity output involves no CO2 emissions.EDF operates over 1,200,000 km of low and medium voltage overhead and underground electricity lines and around 100,000 km of high and very high voltage networks.

The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to close to 40 million customers around the world, including more than 28 million in France.

The Group generated consolidated sales of € 58.9 billion in 2006, of which 42 % in Europe excluding France. Net income (Group share) stood at € 5.6 billion, with net income from ordinary operations at € 4.2 billion.EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and is a member of the CAC 40 index.

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