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The EPR reactor at a glance

AREVA NP's EPR reactor satisfies the most stringent safety standards. It is particularly resistant to external impact due to the outer concrete shell. The extremely robust, gas-tight containment and a special spreading area inside the reactor building prevent radioactive material from escaping into the environment – even in the hypothetical event of a core meltdown. The quadruple redundant safety systems further enhance safety. The power plant staff in the control room have real-time information from the plant at their disposal which further increases the reliability of actions.

The reactor building

The reactor building has two walls: an inner pre-stressed concrete housing with a metallic liner (2) and an outer reinforced concrete shell (1). It houses the reactor coolant system, whose main components are the reactor vessel (3), the steam generators (4), the pressurizer (5) and the reactor coolant pumps (6). Inside the containment building, a specially-designed corium spreading area (7) is located. In the event of core meltdown, this is where any molten core escaping from the reactor vessel would be collected, retained and cooled.

The turbine, the alternator and the transformer are housed in the turbine building (8). This equipment transforms steam into electricity. The transformer is connected to the grid.

Diesel generators, housed in two separate buildings (9), supply electricity to the safety functions, in the event of a power blackout

Quadruple redundancy safety systems

The main safety systems are organized into four sub-systems or "trains", each being capable of providing 100% of the safety function. Each train is installed in one of the four safety buildings (1) which are grouped around the reactor building (2), preventing the simultaneous failure of all four trains due to a common cause.


Robust, double-walled containment

The outer reinforced steel shell (1) comprises the reactor building, the fuel assembly storage building (2) and two of the four safety buildings (3) including the control room. The two other safety buildings (4) are spatially separated for safety considerations. Even in the event of an air crash, only one of these buildings would be affected; the safety functions of the remaining buildings would be fully preserved.

Enhanced human-machine interface

The power plant is monitored and operated from the control room where all operating data are centralized. The power plant control room is located in one of the safety buildings and is protected by the outer shell.

The control room is extremely user-friendly: The design has included the latest technological developments and operating feedback from existing plants. From the earliest stages of the project, the human-machine interface has been a top priority. The fully computerized control room is equipped with most up-to-date digital technology, giving operators full control over all parameters important for plant operation.

Real-time data inform power plant staff about the status of the reactor and the entire plant with the aim to reliably take the correct actions. An emergency control station, providing the same information and data as the main control room, can be used in the extremely unlikely event of the control room being unavailable.


The inner containment of an EPR pressurized water reactor


Safety profile of the EPR reactor

EPR reactor

Six barriers prevent the release of radioactive materials

Reactor types

How does a pressurized water reactor, boiling water reactor, heavy water reactor, fast breeder work?


Operation of a pressurized water reactor