The EPR™ reactor: a sustainable reactor
The EPR™ reactor is a cut above the rest in terms of sustainability. Thanks to its optimized core design and high efficiency, it improves upon existing light water reactors to the benefit of the environment.
EPR™ REACTOR ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS AT A GLANCE
> Uranium consumption reduced by up to 15% per MWh produced*
> Improved fuel management reduces generation of long-lived actinides by 10% per MWh*
> Maximized power output per site
> Thermal efficiency reduces water use*
> Capability to use mixed recycled oxide uranium (MOX) and enriched reprocessed uranium (ERU)
> Collection doses reduced by 30% as compared to the best World Association of Nuclear Operators one-year median value.
* compared to 1,000 MWe-class reactors
LESS WASTE, BETTER MANAGEMENT
The EPR™ reactor has been designed in such a way to reduce waste production and allow for better waste management.
- Gaseous waste
All gaseous waste is filtered in the EPR™ reactor to reduce its level of radioactivity. Gaseous releases are controlled and monitored at the discharge stack to verify that they have no significant impact on the environment.
- Liquid waste
Due to the reactor’s additional control rods and larger core, it requires fewer boron injections, thereby reducing liquid waste.
- Fuel use and resulting waste
Thanks to high operating performance, operators have more flexibility in their use of nuclear fuel to generate power, providing opportunities to implement efficient fuel strategies that reduce fuel use and resulting waste.
- Water use
The EPR™ reactor has a very high thermal efficiency, meaning that less external water is used for cooling than with other nuclear designs for a defined quantity of electricity produced.
MORE OUTPUT, LESS LAND USE
With its high capacity, the EPR™ reactor can produce the same electricity output using less land than other energy-generating options. This high output is particularly useful in countries aiming to limit the number of nuclear units built.
LIMITED IMPACTS ON ITS SURROUNDING
The EPR™ reactor has modern safety features designed to contain the consequences on an unlikely accident to the limits of the plant itself, and thus to avoid any negative impact on the neighbouring environment.
Improved protection for operating and maintenance workers
As one of the priority objective in the EPR™ design, the target collective dose is expected to reduce by 50% of the average rate currently observed in OECD countries.
- Shorter outages for refueling and maintenance
- Major improvements in materials’ protection capacity
- Improved layout of potentially radioactive systems and components
- Optimization of the radiation shielding thicknesses in accordance to maintenance operations
The collective dose of radioactivity is expected to be 2 times less than that in previous power plants. The objective is to maintain the collective dose around 0.4 man-Sievert per reactor per year, considerably lower than the average value of 1 man-Sievert observed within nuclear power plants in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.