in Penly, EDF is planning the first EPR2s despite maintenance operations

Margaux Fodere, with Gauthier Delomez

At Penly in Seine-Maritime, two new generation reactors (EPR2) are due to come on stream by 2035, while the two reactors already on the site have still not been restarted. However, EDF, which is leading the project, is confident that this ambitious schedule will be met.

They are still two large concrete circles by the sea. Earthworks built in the 1990s for an old reactor project. In Penly, in Seine-Maritime, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire visited the site which could accommodate the first two EPR2s in 2035. An expected construction, while the two reactors already present have still not restarted. It is nevertheless here that the new generation of nuclear power must see the light of day.

Two reactors of 1,670 megawatts each

“What we are proposing to build are two EPR2 reactors which make 1,670 megawatts of electricity each”, explains Gabriel Oblin, director of the EPR2 project at EDF. These two reactors “would produce what the Normandy region consumes”, he told Europe 1.

According to him, “if the decision is taken quickly”, the electrician is ready “to file the requests for administrative authorization before the summer of 2023, which would allow us to start the preparatory work in June 2024 to aim for commissioning in 2035-2037”, explains Gabriel Oblin.

maintenance operations

An ambitious schedule, given the fact that the two existing reactors have still not been restarted. Christophe Comtesse, the technical director of the Penly site, justifies these delays at the microphone of Europe 1. “We take advantage of these reloading stops to carry out maintenance operations: small, medium and large maintenance”, he specifies.

In the meantime, this maintenance is delaying the restarting of the reactors. The return to service of the second is postponed for two months, and for the first, it will not be before the beginning of February 2023.