Paris, February 7, 2011 — With the successful installation of the four steam generators in the reactor building, another important stage has been reached in the construction of Areva's EPR reactor at Olkiluoto in Finland.
Between mid-November 2010 and January 31, 2011, the four 550-ton components, each 25 meters long and 5.2 meters across, were carefully moved into place.
First, each steam generator was lifted to a height of 19.5 meters in the fuel building then introduced horizontally into the reactor building. Then it was tilted upright and lowered into its final position. A total of 40 people worked for three days to install each one.
These strategic components were manufactured at Areva’s Chalon St-Marcel plant. Their role is to transfer heat from the reactor coolant to the water in the secondary system via 6,000 U tubes with a surface area of 8,000 square meters and a total length of 140 km.
The water is converted into steam that drives a turbine connected to an alternator, which in turn generates electricity.
Like the installation of the reactor vessel head in June 2010 and that of the pressurizer in early November, the successful installation of the four steam generators in sequence is a magnificent technical achievement.
"The installation of the steam generators is a remarkable feat by the teams installing the reactor coolant system for the world’s first EPR reactor. It marks the end of a decisive stage and gives Areva unrivaled experience on the Generation 3+ reactor market", said Jean-Pierre Mouroux, OL3 Project Director.
The installation of the whole primary circuit will be completed in spring of this year after the introduction of the reactor pressure vessel internals and the installation of reactor coolant pumps. More than 4,000 people from 55 countries are currently working on the Olkiluoto 3 site.