ASN announces the completion of fuel loading in the Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor

After a 12-year delay, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has confirmed the completion of loading uranium fuel into the new EPR reactor at the Flamanville power station in Manche. This loading is a key preliminary step for the gradual start-up of the site and began on May 8 in the reactor building swimming pool. The deputy general director of ASN, Julien Collet, stated to AFP that the loading of fuel was completed on Wednesday around noon.

The EPR is the 57th French reactor and the most powerful in the fleet, receiving around 60,000 thin tubes containing uranium pellets in its tank. After closing the tank, tests will be carried out before proceeding with increasing pressure and temperature stages to test safety devices. EDF has received authorization from ASN after a two-year delay, marking the completion of a long and challenging project.

EDF confirmed that start-up operations are progressing according to schedule, with several stages still to be completed before the reactor delivers its first electrons expected in the summer. The ASN will need to issue its agreement before launching nuclear fission reaction once the reactor reaches 25% power production by year’s end.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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