UK approves new EPR nuclear plant design

Areva EPR Hinkley Point C Flamanville nuclear EDF Energy

Nuclear regulators in the UK have approved a design from EDF and Areva for the new European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) after a five-year review.

EDF and Areva hope to build two new plants using the design at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The 3.3 GW project is expected to cost $22 billion.

Areva announced Dec. 13 that it had signed a memoranda of understanding with 25 UK-based companies for the supply of components and services.

"I am delighted by the UK regulators' decision to approve the design of our rector," said Areva CEO Luc Oursel. "This is an additional proof of its pre-eminence in terms of safety and performance. Areva looks forward to supporting the UK nuclear industry together with the UK-based companies."

The approval comes amid concerns about cost overruns at the prototype EPR reactor in Flamanville, which EDF now expects to cost $11.2 billion, well above the original $3 billion estimate.

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