EDF has announced that it has started the construction of the future European pressurized water reactor nuclear power station at Flamanville in Normandy, France, on schedule.

The European pressurized water reactor (EPR) is a third-generation nuclear reactor with a capacity of 1,650MW. It will continue the technological development of the current pressurized water reactors, bringing together all of the recent advances to offer the guarantee of safe and competitive electricity production with no carbon dioxide emissions.

The company said that the construction of the reactor will emphasize EDF’s expertise in the nuclear field. It will also form part of its program to re-launch its investments in providing an additional electricity production capacity of 6,000MW in France between the end of 2007 and 2012.

Pierre Gadonneix, chairman and CEO of EDF, said: The start of the construction of the nuclear block is a major step in the creation of the EPR at Flamanville. The experience, expertise and knowledge of the EDF teams, in particular their skill in the construction works and engineering, have allowed the construction to stick strictly to schedule.

The success of the Flamanville site is essential and will benefit the whole French nuclear industry, since this technology is currently recognized as an innovative, safe and competitive solution throughout the world.