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Evolutionary design meets cutting edge technology

Civaux Nuclear power Plant (France) - C Pauquet

The AREVA’s EPR™ reactor is a 1,650 MWe Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR), the world’s first Generation III+ PWR to be built. The EPR™ reactors are both at the cutting edge of innovation and underpinned by well-known, reliable technology. AREVA worked cooperatively with its customers and nuclear safety authorities in several countries to optimize their design.

A highly evolved reactor

The EPR™ design is the fruit of decades of advanced R&D programmes, in particular those at the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) and the Karlsruhe Research Center in Germany.

It is the direct descendant of two proven reactor technologies – the French N4 reactor system developed by AREVA and the German Konvoi reactor system developed by Siemens – and it is one of the most modern reactors. Through this filiation, the EPR™ reactor totally benefits from an uninterrupted evolutionary and innovative process; it has a proven technology based on 87 PWRs built throughout the world.

Moreover, the EPR™ reactor was designed using input obtained directly from both French and German safety authorities and has benefited from the active involvement of European nuclear utilities
(EDF, E.ON …) at the very earliest phases of its conception.

A leader in state-of-the-art technology

As a result, the EPR™ reactor is optimised to meet the higher safety requirements of the new generation of nuclear power plants while offering very competitively priced electricity generation. At the cutting edge of a continuous innovation process, it features the following advances:


  • An axial economizer within each steam generator enables higher steam pressure and plant efficiency.
  • A heavy neutron reflector surrounding the reactor core to improve fuel utilization and protect reactor pressure vessel against aging.
  • An outer Airplane Crash (APC) shell protects the reactor building, the used fuel building and two of the four safeguard buildings in the event of a collision with a large aircraft.
  • A core catcher allows passive collection and retention of the molten core should the reactor vessel fail in the unlikely event of a core melt.
  • Nuclear Safety is enhanced through a quadruple redundant safeguard system.
  • The user-friendly computerized control room provides quality information in real time.

I&C: piloting the plant

Olkiluoto 3 control room

The I&C system design and associated equipment fully comply with process, nuclear safety, and operational requirements.
Its subsystems use TELEPERM XS technology, AREVA’s digital I&C platform developed for safety and high-reliability functions in nuclear facilities.

The AREVA TELEPERM XS system is the first safety-related digital I&C system to receive approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is currently licensed and used in Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


The I&C system and equipment are in alignment with the principles of redundancy, diversity and separation commanding the EPR™ safety  systems. 
Each instrumentation and control system is designed to fulfill all of its safety functions, even in the event of the failure of a channel or the unavailability of the reactor for preventive maintenance or other reasons.