Dec 9 (Reuters) - France’s Areva CEPFi.PA has staked its export growth on the EPR reactor and is hoping it will beat American rival Westinghouse to become the standard-bearer for a new generation of plants.
But delays in building nuclear reactors, cost overruns and design concerns could undermine plans by the world’s largest nuclear reactor builder to grab a leading share of the global atomic energy renaissance.
Here are Key facts on the EPR:
* A third-generation reactor designed by Areva and German industrial group Siemens (SIEGn.DE), it can resist the impact of an airliner, according to its manufacturers.
* The water-pressurised reactor has a capacity of 1,650 megawatts (MW), around 150 MW more than the most recent reactor model built in Chooz (northeastern France) and Civaux (southwestern France).
* It has a technical life span of 60 years and is designed to use 17 percent less uranium to produce the same quantity of electricity as previous models.
* Maintenance operations on the reactor will be shorter because of better access to equipment.
* The reactor was initially called European Pressurized Reactor. The name was changed two years ago to Evolutionary Power Reactor, to give it a more international dimension, but is now simply called EPR.
* The first examples of are currently under construction in Finland, in the French northern nuclear site of Flamanville and in southern China.
* An EPR costs around 5-6 billion euros.
* Areva currently hopes to export its EPR to Britain, the United States, India, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates.
For an Analysis on the EPR, please click on: [ID:nGEE5B80YF]
Compiled by Muriel Boselli; editing by Simon Jessop