French reactor vendor, AREVA, has announced that the reactor vessel has been positioned in the reactor building of the Flamanville 3 EPR, under construction in Normandy.
The vessel, which weighs 425 metric tons, was hoisted into the reactor building using a gantry crane, designed specifically to bring heavy components into the reactor building.
The lifting operation began on Wednesday 22 January, and was completed during the night on Friday 24 January, AREVA said.
AREVA said that positioning of the RPV "marks the ramp-up of installation work in the nuclear island at the Flamanville EPR construction site." AREVA and EDF are due to start installing other components of the nuclear steam supply system - including the steam generators and pressurizer - over the coming months.
The milestone comes just over three months after the reactor vessel, which measure nearly 11 meters high by 5.5 meters in diameter, arrived at the FL3 construction site.
The vessel was manufactured at AREVA's Saint Marcel heavy components facility in Burgundy. It was transported to the construction site by sea, setting out on its voyage in September 2013.
Construction of the 1600 MW Flamanville 3 EPR began in December 2007 and the reactor is set to generate its first kilowatt-hours in 2016. Around 2850 employees are currently working on the FL3 site, AREVA said.
Photo: Flamanville 3 EPR reactor vessel being positioned in the reactor building (Photo Credit : EDF - Alexis Morin)