Areva has delivered the reactor vessel to EDF’s new nuclear plant at Flamanville in France.

It is hoped that the delivery will add impetus to work at the plant, which has been dogged by delays and is now due to go online in 2016, four years later than first planned.

Areva said in a statement that the delivery “marks the ramp-up of operations in the nuclear island and acceleration of electromechanical installation work at the site”.

The vessel will be installed inside the reactor building (pictured) over the coming months. The dome installation was carried out in July and Areva says the civil engineering work for the EPR site is now 95 per cent complete.

The reactor vessel was built in Areva’s Saint Marcel facility and was then transported by sea to the port of Diélette on the northwest coast of France before being transferred to the nuclear power plant site.

Claude Jaouen, senior executive vice-president of AREVA Reactors & Services, said: “The arrival of the vessel at Flamanville represents a key step forward for this project.”