The testing, which includes simulating temperatures and pressures during design operation conditions, began on 21 September 2019, the statement said.
EDF said water in the primary circuit was heated to 303 degrees Celsius and system pressure was raised to 15.4 MPa during the tests. Operation was tested of the steam generators and the cooling system via the secondary circuit. Last week, Flamaville's turbine was also successfully started and reached its nominal operating parametres.
Sébastien Bachère, director commissioning at Flamanville-3 said the successful completion of hot testing at the plant is a “sizable step” for the EPR project, being the first such testing done in France in over 20 years.
Construction of a single 1,600-MW EPR began in 2007 at the site of an existing nuclear station at Flamanville in Normandy. Initial completion was scheduled for 2012, but the project encountered a series of delays and related cost overruns.
According to the latest reports, fuel loading at the plant is now expected to happen by the end of 2022.
There are five EPR projects: Flamanville-3 in France, Olkiluoto-3 in Finland, Hinkley Point C in the UK – where two EPRs are being built – and Taishan-1 and -2 in Guangdong province, southern China. Taishan-1 began commercial operation in December 2018 and Taishan-2 in September 2019.