A recent study by Arthur D. Little, “Nuclear New Build Unveiled
That’s why EDF, the world’s largest nuclear owner and operator, and Constellation Energy, one of the largest fleet operators in the U.S., joined forces, forming UniStar, for nuclear new build in the United States.
And that’s exactly why we’ve partnered with AREVA, the world’s largest nuclear supply company; Alstom, the world’s largest nuclear steam turbine supplier; Bechtel; Accenture; Excel Services. All of these companies have the nuclear experience needed to build the next generation of nuclear energy right.
Interestingly, the study includes the Olkiluoto project (TVO-owned; AREVA-managed) and the Flamanville project (EDF-owned and managed) as examples of companies that did not fully understand project risks and timing of critical activities.
What the study does not mention is that the Finland and France projects are the first Generation III+ facilities to be built in the world. There are lots of lessons learned; and the study mentions some of them, including, that the plant was still being designed as construction started, that the licensing process was untested, and the project did not have enough experienced workers.
And that’s exactly why UniStar has staff on site at Flamanville: to learn how to do new build better. That’s why EDF, our parent, has regular meetings involving all new build projects and development around the world. That’s why we’ve joined with Accenture to develop a system (called Galaxy
UniStar chose AREVA’S EPR™ technology because we knew that it would be built at least twice before it came to the U.S. With the two now underway in China, UniStar is gathering data from four EPR sites, and our intent is to iron out the kinks and learn plenty from our parents and partners.
The first Gen III+ nuclear construction will invariably have challenges along the way. It’s not a game. It’s not for the uninitiated. But it is something that can be accomplished given the right partners and experience. At UniStar, our goal is to demonstrate a standardized way of building plants which will help support the new nuclear development we need in this country for a safe, reliable, economical, and carbon-free source of energy.
Oh, and by the way, Finland’s parliament just voted to build two additional nuclear energy facilities, with the objective to become energy independent from natural gas supplies. I guess they realize that despite the pastOlkiluoto woes, nuclear remains the best option for their future energy needs.