Nuclear energy: EDF strengthens the Filière

France’s third largest industrial sector represents 220,000 jobs and is essential to achieving the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement according to the International Energy Agency. The French government has allocated 472 million euros to this sector as part of the France Relance plan.

To support this effort, the French company EDF has implemented the new Excell plan, supported by its CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy. The aim is to strengthen the competitiveness and safety of the sector. In particular, the government wants the company to launch a study on the construction of six new EPR reactors.

“The Excell plan must allow the consolidation of the third French industrial sector, which employs more than 220,000 people. Nuclear energy is good for the planet and the climate, it emits almost no CO2. It allows us to achieve good results in terms of carbon neutrality objectives. In addition, nuclear power will help support the economic recovery initiated by the government,” said the EDF representative to our colleagues at Le Monde des Energies.

Nuclear power protected by 25 new commitments.

The project is supervised by Alain Tranzer, General Delegate for Industrial Quality and nuclear specialist. Followed by 146 players from the French nuclear group GIFEN, this plan began in December 2019 with a diagnosis. Today it is moving on to the second phase: the execution and submission of the EPR2 offer in 2021. On October 15, 2020, Alain Tranzer presented 25 new commitments to make this project a reality.

The reinforcement of employees’ skills.

While the company has already hired 21,000 employees in three years as part of the Employment and Skills Development commitment, it now wants to strengthen employee knowledge. A training center for welders will be created in Cherbourg.

Reinforcing the safety of facilities

Thanks to the “zero defect” plan, the company wishes to encourage over-performance and perpetuate its supplier relationships. Standardization is also at the heart of the debate. According to Xavier Ursat, reducing the number of models will allow for a reduction in costs of around 30%.

Alain Tranzer declared for the World Nuclear News.

“Today we use more than 13,000 different types of valves for our plants. Our ambition is to retain only 300 of them. This is a real culture change.”

The construction of a simplified reactor

EDF and Framatome are also looking to develop a new, more simplified nuclear reactor, the EPR2. This project will make this sector more competitive and more effective.

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