EDF sees progress with its revival plan for French industry: Corporate

October 16, 2020

EDF has published a first progress report on the state of its excel plan, stating that the commitments made under the plan have now been met or are about to be met. This plan aims to strengthen the manufacturing quality of the French nuclear industry, strengthen skills and strengthen the governance of major nuclear projects.

The Flamanville EPR pictured in front of units 1 and 2 of the power plant (Image: EDF)

In October 2019, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire made public an audit of the construction of the Flamanville 3 EPR, carried out by former PSA group boss Jean-Martin Folz. In his report, Folz said the commissioning and operation of the EPR reactors in Taishan, China, demonstrated “the relevance of the concept and design of the EPR.” However, he added that improvements in the constructability and cost reductions of the EPR units had to be made without losing the experience gained so far for the series construction of the reactors to resume. The Mayor asked EDF to present an action plan to the French government outlining how it would address issues, such as skills shortages, which have caused delays and cost increases in new nuclear power plant projects.

EDF declared that the aim of the excellent plan – presented in December of last year – is to align the French nuclear industry with the highest standards of diligence, quality and excellence required for the success of nuclear projects. “This is a major challenge because nuclear energy, generated from a low-carbon energy source, must continue to play an active role in the fight against climate change,” he said. declared.

The execution of the plan is supervised by Alain Tranzer, general manager of industrial quality and nuclear skills at EDF. He reports directly to Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of the company.

EDF announced yesterday that the commitments made in December 2019 are now met or are about to be.

EDF has indicated that the French nuclear industry is now making 25 additional commitments for mid-2021. These commitments revolve around 5 “cornerstones”, he said. First of all, state-of-the-art project governance, with a function of supervising major new nuclear projects in order to ensure that each stage is fully completed. Second, the rise of skills in the French nuclear sector, with a focus on the 21,000 professionals entering the sector over the period 2019 to 2022. Third, manufacturing and construction companies in the sector will develop a “zero plan” fault “. In addition, there will be a supply chain relationship based on more streamlined and results-oriented contracts. In addition, the industry aims to raise quality and nuclear safety standards through standardization and replication to ensure costs and on-time delivery.

A welding plan has been drawn up to meet specific challenges in terms of skills and quality, noted EDF. This plan will support the training and qualification of welders working on nuclear projects.

EDF and the entire nuclear industry are now committed to the second phase of the excel plan, involving its effective implementation in manufacturing plants, engineering centers, construction sites and nuclear power plants.

“Supported by the excel plan, we intend to obtain results quickly in all companies and facilities that are part of the nuclear industry, ”said Lévy. “Our objective is to be up to our current and future projects in France, the United Kingdom and other regions of the world, thus making nuclear energy a key player in the fight against climate change .

EDF and Framatome are developing a simplified version of the EPR design, called EPR2. Its objective is to integrate experience feedback from the design, construction and commissioning of the EPR reactor, as well as the operating experience of nuclear reactors currently in service. EDF must ensure the financing and profitability of its EPR2 reactor project before starting the construction of any power plant based on the design in France, said the country’s Court of Auditors.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News

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