Electricite de France (EDF) has completed the cold functional test phase of a 1,650MW European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), which will be third unit of the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant in France.

Also called as Flamanville 3, the EPR will be built at a cost of €10.5bn in the Manche department in the Flamanville commune.

The French energy company said that the test phase is part of the system performance testing, initiated in the first quarter of last year, to check and test operation of all the EPR systems.

According to EDF, the cold functional test phase had successfully tested leak performance on the primary system at a pressure exceeding 240 bar. The testing which began on 18 December 2017, ended on 6 January 2018.

The company said that over 500 welds went through inspection through the hydrostatic testing, which was overseen by the French Nuclear Safety Authority.

EDF plans to prepare for the hot functional testing which is expected to begin in July.

The testing phase was aimed to determine whether the plant is in good working order by assessing components with temperature and pressure levels that are expected to be seen during real operation stage.

EDF said that it had deployed over 1,000 engineers and technicians to carry out the system performance tests.

“EDF has confirmed the Flamanville 3 project roadmap announced in September 2015 with fuel loading and start-up of the reactor at the end of the last quarter of 2018,” the company said in a statement.

Developed by state-controlled Areva, the Flamanville EPR will be capable of generating 13TWh of power.

It will be part of the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant, which broke ground in 1979, has two units in operation, each of 1,382MW.

Image: Illustration of the EPR reactor vessel. Photo: courtesy of ASN.