Nuclear Energy - Energie EDF

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Nuclear Energy - Energie EDF

Series: | The future of our energy

Nuclear

energy


“How to reconcile power

generation with environmental

protection?”

“Is EDF

competitive?”

“25% of the world’s

population uses almost

two thirds of the world’s

energy resources.”

PERFORMANCE

SAFETY

ENERGY EXPERTISE

A key player in the landscape of energy

challenges, EDF generates ample quantities

of energy in varied and environmentallyfriendly

forms, thus providing the wider

public with access to electricity.

Energy demand could

increase by 60% by the

year 2030.”


EDF,

EUROPEAN LEADER

IN POWER

GENERATION

The EDF group has a stake in the main

leading European energy markets:

the United Kingdom with EDF Energy,

Italy with Edison, and France where EDF

is leader in its market. With its mix of

nuclear, hydroelectric, fossil-fi red and

other renewable energies, EDF operates a

highly effi cient, diversifi ed and

comprehensive power generation fl eet.

POWER GENERATED BY EDF

IN MAINLAND FRANCE, 2010*

407.9 TWh

86.7%

Nuclear

45.4 TWh

9.7%

Hydroelectric**

16.9 TWh

3.6%

Fossil-fi red

* These fi gures are rounded off to one decimal point as compared with

exact values.

** Including power generated by pumped-storage plants.

INSTALLED CAPACITY

in France as at 31 December 2010.

NATIONAL POWER OUTPUT*

were generated by EDF in France in 2010.

of the electricity generated

by EDF does not emit greenhouse

gases.

FRENCH FLEET

19 nuclear

power plants

439

hydroelectric

plants

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT

• Mechanical and electrical power is measured

in Watts (W).

• The megawatt/hour (MWh) is the amount of

power generated by a 1-megawatt (MW)

generation facility within a one-hour period.

• 1 MW = 1 000 kilowatts (kW) = 1 million watts.

• 1 terawatt/hour (TWh) is equal to

1 billion kWh.

23 fossil-fi red

plants

and

13 gas

turbines


December 13, 2007.

Gravelines nuclear

power plant

Mickaël Lenfant,

apprentice, with

Jérôme Leboucher,

electromechanical

engineer, and Lionel

Lourdel, his mentor.


Cover:

Saint-Laurentdes-Eaux

nuclear

power plant.

04

Securing energy

independence

Nuclear power,

a vital energy

source

06

Safety,

an absolute

priority

Keeping a close

watch on the

French nuclear

fl e e t

08

From the atom

to electrical

power:

how does

it work

Understanding

how a nuclear

power plant

works

10

Energy

for the future

Nuclear power

and tomorrow’s

economic and

environmental

challenges

Creation of series: Spécifi que

Production and design:

Translation: Concept & Langage – Photo credits: Onoky/

Photononstop, Getty Images/DR, EDF media library/Marc

Didier, Philippe Dureuil, Laurent Mayeux, Laurent Vautrin

Printers: JPA - REF.ENE961-2011

Printed on 50% recycled, 50% FSC paper.

Nuclear power: mainspring of

electrical power generation

In order to supply clean, constant and

affordable electricity to all its customer bases,

regardless of location, EDF uses all sources of

energy: nuclear fuel, water, coal, fuel oil,

ever increasing amounts of wind energy, solar

energy and biomass. Nuclear power

continuously forms the basis of French energy

supply while other energy sources such as

fuel oil, coal and water, are periodically used

to cope with peaks in energy demand, during

very cold period, for instance. These other

generation facilities are able to supply

electricity very promptly. Within this mix,

nuclear energy constitutes the “bedrock”

of EDF’s power generation.

www.edf.com


Nuclear energy

SECURING

ENERGY

INDEPENDENCE

Nuclear power accounts for 21% of all electrical power generated around the world. France

opted for this form of energy in the post-war years, when the country decided to conduct

research into means of developing this new energy source. France’s decision was corroborated

in the nineteen-sixties, and particularly in the aftermath of 1973 and the petrol crisis, a year

which saw the cost of the barrel quadruple within a mere few weeks. At the time, France was

sourcing 76% of its energy supplies from other countries, and oil accounted for 84% of its

imports.

The decision to build a nuclear fl eet was taken with a view to securing France’s energy

independence.

This turned out to be a wise decision: By the late eighties, more than half of energy demand

was already covered by the country’s output.

EDF is now the world’s leading producer of nuclear energy. It enjoys world-wide renown as

the leading light in technical know-how.

Nuclear energy is now increasingly perceived as a crucial source of energy. Global energy

demand continues to rise while petroleum and gas resources, and coal resources in the longer

term, will be in short supply. Not to mention the need to combat global warming. Nuclear

power does not generate greenhouse gases.

04

RESEARCH

In 1956, The Atomic

Energy Commission

(CEA) started up

the very fi rst French

reactor at the

Marcoule facility

(Gard). EDF

connected a power

generator at the

site.


Energy resources

of the future

By the year 2030, global energy

demand is expected to have

risen by 60%, while global

electricity demand is expected

to double within the next 30

years. In the light of these

forecasts, oil resources are

expected to be depleted within

the next 40 years, with natural

gas becoming depleted within

the next 70 years, and coal

within the next 200 to 300

years. Uranium resources, on

the other hand, are found in

abundance. They come from

stable countries like Canada

and Australia. Given the

challenges facing energy

supply, nuclear energy stands

out as a sustainable and

economic solution.

The French nuclear

fl eet in fi gures

Two types of nuclear power

plant have been built in France:

French-designed gas-cooled

nuclear reactors, and Americandesigned

pressurized water

reactors (PWR). In the nineteensixties,

6 gas-cooled reactor

units were commissioned,

while 58 PWR plants were

commissioned between 1970

and 1993. The French nuclear

fl eet now comprises 58 reactor

units spread across 19 nuclear

power stations: thirty-four

900-MW reactors, twenty

1300-MW reactors and four

1500-MW reactors. Indeed, EDF

customers enjoy some of the

most competitive electricity

rates in Europe. France is the

world’s second biggest nuclear

energy power, after the United

States.

Reactor units. A reactor unit comprises

one reactor, steam generators, a turbine and

a generator, which produces electricity.

DID YOU KNOW?

EDF’s nuclear and hydroelectric

generation facilities enable it to

generate 95% of its electricity

without emitting CO2.

The Kyoto protocol has called for a

5.7% reduction in CO2 emissions in

industrialized countries over the

period spanning 1990 to 2010 (8%

for European countries).

05


Nuclear energy

SAFETY,

AN ABSOLUTE

PRIORITY

Safety comprises all measures taken at each stage of a plant’s life span, starting

with the design phase, to ensure that plant operations have no adverse effects

on man and the environment. To achieve this aim, EDF relies on the high

professional standards of its work force, on the meticulous attention and care

they bring to their work, on the reliability of its generation facilities and on

scrupulous adherence to regulations, under the watchful eye of the French

nuclear regulatory authority.

Two fundamental principles are applied in the endeavour to avert risk: “defence

in depth”, which entails setting up a number of lines of defence by envisaging

potential equipment and human failures, and “circuit redundancy”, which

provides back-up safety systems. Nuclear fi ssion is also constantly monitored and

can be stopped at any time. The reactor core is constantly being cooled and

radioactive substances are contained behind successive barriers (see diagram).

This safety culture is accompanied by strict measures to control impacts on man

and the environment. Before a nuclear plant is even built, EDF conducts a

radio-environmental survey of each site, the results of which serve as a base line

for subsequent analyses. Throughout its service life, a plant is monitored on two

levels: the on-site laboratory takes measurements and samples of air, water and

fl ora within a 5-km radius, while the Department of Health and Industry then

double-checks these samples. Similarly, liquid and gaseous effl uents produced

by power plants undergo a number of operations prior to disposal, in order to

reduce their radioactivity.

06

Reactor

vessel

1 st barrier:

fuel

cladding

3 SAFETY BARRIERS SEPARATING NUCLEAR

FUEL FROM THE ENVIRONMENT

3 rd barrier:

reactor

containment

structure

THE NUCLEAR

REGULATORY

AUTHORITY

On behalf of the

State, the French

nuclear regulatory

authority (ASN)

monitors nuclear

safety and

radiation

protection in

France, in order to

protect workers,

patients, the public

and the

environment from

the risks associated

with nuclear

activity. Enjoying

the status of an

independent public

authority, the ASN

is also instrumental

in providing the

French public with

information.

Pressuriser

Steam

generator

2 nd barrier:

reactor

coolant

pressure

boundary


Emergency drills

Every year, each nuclear power

plant conducts 7 to 8 emergency

simulation drills in conjunction

with the local and national

public authorities, the aim being

to train staff in responding to all

types of emergency. Controlroom

operators also receive six

weeks of industrial safety

training a year.

The INES scale

Waste management

France came up with the

International Nuclear Event Scale

(INES) in 1987. The scale started

being used internationally in the

early nineties. Consisting of 7

levels, it is used to gauge the

signifi cance of events and

accidents occurring on a nuclear

facility.

INCIDENT ACCIDENT

7 Accident Major accident majeur

6 Accident Serious accident grave

5 Accident entraînant with wider un consequences risque hors du site

4 Accident n’entraînant with local consequences pas un risque important hors du site

3 Incident Serious incident grave

2 Incident

1 Anomalie Anomaly

0 Ecart. No Safety Aucune Significance importance du point de vue de la sûreté

EDF rigorously manages the waste produced by its nuclear power plants, by restricting the amounts of

waste produced at source, by selectively sorting its waste into categories and activity levels, and by

packaging its waste appropriately. Repositories are already in place for the disposal of “short-lived”

waste produced in the course of plant

operation and maintenance activities. These

disposal facilities are run by the French

radioactive waste management agency

(ANDRA) and are located in the Aube,

region of France. Long-lived waste

produced through the reprocessing of

spent fuel is temporarily stored at AREVA

facilities. After the 15 years of research

called for by the Bataille Law enacted in

1991, the programme-bill on the

management of radioactive waste and

materials was adopted by Parliament on

the 15 th of June 2006. Among other

aspects, this law incorporates the principle

of reversible, deep underground storage

of ultimate waste, by 2015.

For more information go to www.edf.com

EDF has been awarded ISO 14001 certifi cation,

which grants international recognition of its

environment management system (monitoring

of air and water quality, etc.).

07


Nuclear energy

FROM THE ATOM

TO ELECTRICAL

POWER:

HOW DOES IT WORK

(1) Inside the reactor core, nuclear fi ssion generates a

large amount of heat. Water, heated to 320 °C, fl ows

through a circuit where it is pressurized in order to

keep it in a liquid state.

(2) The primary circuit heats the secondary circuit by

applying the heat exchange principle. Inside the steam

generator, water in the secondary circuit is turned into

steam. This steam rotates a turbine, which is

connected to a generator that produces electricity.

Electricity is then transmitted along very high-voltage

power lines from the transformer.

(3) Water inside the cooling circuit cools the secondary

circuit upon contact with air inside the cooling tower.

In power plants without cooling towers, the cooling

function is fulfi lled by sea or river water.

08

A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT WITH A COOLING TOWER: HOW IT WORKS

Reactor building

(nuclear area)

River

Reactor

vessel

Pressuriser

Steam

generator

Pump

1

Primary circuit

Turbine building

(non-nuclear area)

Turbine

2

Secondary circuit

Main

generator

Condenser

Cooling tower

emitting water

vapour

3

Cooling circuit


Heat source:

nuclear fi ssion

During the nuclear fi ssion

process, an uranium atom is

bombarded with a neutron.

When the nucleus splits, it

releases two or three neutrons

which in turn collide with other

nuclei. This process is known as

a chain reaction, which

generates heat.

NUCLEAR FISSION PROCESS

Neutron Noyau fissile Nouveaux Neutrons

noyaux

Neutron Fissile New nuclei Neutrons

nucleus

Nuclear fuel: uranium. Uranium 235 is used as fuel as it is the only fi ssile

atom (capable of undergoing fi ssion) occurring in nature. In nature, it

occurs in insuffi cient quantities. It therefore has to be enriched in order

to increase the number of atoms. This uranium is then converted into

uranium oxide, used as fuel on nuclear power plants. Prior to combustion,

FUEL ROD AND FUEL ASSEMBLY

the uranium oxide is

compressed into

Cladding Gaine Pastille d’uranium Enriched

uranium enrichie pellet

Ressort Spring

cylindrical pellets that are

enclosed in sealed metal

cladding and placed in

tubes known as fuel rods.

4 m

These are grouped

together in fuel

assemblies and placed

inside the reactor.

Base Plaque de pied

plate

Tube guide Guide

tube

Grappe Control Araignée Spider

de commande rod assembly

The core contains 150 to

200 fuel assemblies.

INSIDE THE ATOM

The nucleus of an atom, the

smallest particle of a single

body, consists of protons

(positive electrical charge)

and neutrons (no electrical

charge). An atom has an

equal number of neutrons

and protons, but an isotope

may have a different

number of neutrons.

Power plant

operation

A power plant is

operated from a main

control room. In order to

increase or decrease the

amount of power

generated, control-room

operators use control

rods to adjust the

intensity of the chain

reaction. In abnormal

operating conditions, the

rods drop automatically

and shut down the

reactor within the space

of a few seconds.

09


Nuclear energy

ENERGY FOR

THE FUTURE

How to sustain economic growth and meet growing energy demand while the

reserves of oil, gas and coal are limited, and that, at the same time having to

curb global warming at all costs? While renewable energies and energy-saving

initiatives may provide a partial solution, they are far from being adequate.

All energy sources must be harnessed, including nuclear energy which is able to

provide competitive electricity, which has proven its availability, and above all,

which does not emit greenhouse gases.

A large number of countries such as Finland, China, the USA and the UK are

reviving their nuclear construction programmes.

It is against this backdrop that EDF has gone ahead with the construction of the

new EPR reactor unit at Flamanville in Normandy. The EPR will be even safer,

more economical and more effi cient than its predecessors. Flamanville 3 is a

crucial investment, forming part of EDF’s plans to build an additional 5000 MW

of power generation capacity in order to meet the constantly growing need

for electricity in France and Europe. The new reactor is of vital importance

to EDF as it will help to maintain a high level of skills in the construction and

operation of nuclear power plants.

10

OPERATION OF NUCLEAR

POWER PLANTS

Many plant components

are able to outlast a 40 year

period. Others are replaced

during a plant’s service life.

The facility as a whole may

therefore outlast the service

period for which it was

initially designed, provided

that safety-critical

components such as the

reactor vessel and

containment structure,

which are hard or impossible

to replace, meet the safety

standard.

The ageing of components

and more specifi cally,

of the reactor vessel and

containment structure, is

assessed in order to confi rm

their ability to operate safely

for 40 years and more. All

components are regularly

inspected.


EPR

FIND OUT MORE

Each nuclear power station is

fl anked by a public information

centre featuring educational,

recreational and interactive

exhibits, where the public can

learn more about nuclear power

generation.

The EPR* is a pressurized-water reactor that started being

developed in the 1990s by EDF and Areva, in conjunction

with the German power utilities.

It features four safeguard systems, each of these being

able to stop the nuclear reaction and cool the reactor if an

incident were to occur.

It uses 17% less fuel and cuts down by 30% the amount

of waste being produced. Its 1650 MW capacity will make

it the most powerful reactor in the world.

*European pressurized water reactor

“The EPR is not that different

from existing reactors”

“False! The EPR will bring about

substantial improvements in three

areas: operational safety, availability,

and the effect of plant operations

on man and the environment. In the

area of safety, we will be further

reducing the likelihood of core melt

by ten, particularly through the

doubling of circuit redundancy.

Whereas EPR predecessors featured

two mutually redundant circuits, the

EPR will have four. This will enhance

plant operability and availability, as

it will be possible to perform

maintenance while the reactor is

operating; availability will thus

increase from its current about 80%

to 91%. Lastly, as far as the impact

on man and the environment is

concerned, the EPR will reduce the

quantity of long-lived waste by 30%,

essentially owing to enhanced fuel

effi ciency.”

11


GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF

EDF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN FRANCE

Quimper

1

Brennilis

EDF

Cap Ampère – 1, place Pleyel

93282 Saint-Denis cedex

Rennes

Cherbourg

Flamanville

Nantes

Blayais

Head offi ce: 22-30, avenue de Wagram – 75008 Paris

Limited company with a capital of 924 433 331 euros

RCS Paris 552 081 317

www.edf.com

Ref.:ENE961-2011

2

4

3

Chinon

Bordeaux

2

4

Penly

Paluel

Le Havre

Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux

4

Tours

2

Civaux

Toulouse

Limoges

Orléans

2

2

Golfech

Albi

Bourges

Gravelines

6

Amiens

2

Paris

Lille

4

Dampierre

2

Clermont-Ferrand

Chooz

2

Nogent-sur-Seine

Belleville-sur-Loire

Montpellier

Reims

2

Saint-Alban

1

2

Bugey

4

Tricastin

Nîmes

1

Lyon

2

Besançon

Cattenom

Creys-Malville

1

Grenoble

Cruas

4

2

4

Marseille

Strasbourg

Mulhouse

Nice

2

Fessenheim

2

900 MW

1 300 MW

1 450 MW

1 650 MW

Number of

reactors

Reactor in the

process of

construction

Reactor in the

process of

decommissioning

Reactor coolant

pressure boundary

Generation The EDF Group is ISO 14001 certifi ed March 2011

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