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EDF says Flamanville reactor will cost four times original estimate

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 9, 2019
French state-controlled utility EDF raised by 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) the costs estimated for the long-delayed Flamanville nuclear plant it is building in northern France.
EDF Flamanville reactor
Europe   EDF Flamanville reactor
The utility said that the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in Flamanville is now expected to cost 12.4 bn euros. The built was initially supposed to cost 3.3 bn euros and the reactor was supposed to come on stream in 2012. EDF said that under the revised plan, it hopes to load fuel at Flamanville at the end of 2022, a decade late.

Topics: EDF Flamanville reactor

EDF said it was in talks with France’s ASN nuclear watchdog over the situation at Flamanville, where faulty welds in pipework were uncovered in July 2018.

“If the target for validation by the ASN is complied with, the provisional schedule for implementation of the preferred weld repair scenario will result in a fuel loading date at the end 2022, as well as re-assessment of the construction cost at 12.4 bn euros, representing an increase of 1.5 bn euros,” EDF said in a statement.

"In the letter of 19 June 2019, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) asked EDF to repair the eight containment penetration welds for Flamanville EPR, not compliant with the break preclusion principle. Within this framework, EDF has assessed three repair scenarios," EDF said.

""This work resulted in discussions with the ASN, who sent EDF a letter on 4 October concerning technical feasibility of these three scenarios.

The penetration weld rework scenario preferred by EDF is the use of remote-operated robots, designed to conduct high precision operations inside the piping concerned. This technology has been developed for nuclear power plants in operation and shall be qualified for penetration weld rework. The aim is to qualify this scenario with validation by the ASN by the end of 2020, date on which EDF will be able to initiate the repair works. The second scenario, based on extraction and realignment works in the Safeguard Auxiliary Buildings, is kept at this stage as a fall-back solution.

"Based on this penetration weld repair strategy, the EDF Board of Directors approved continuation of the Flamanville EPR construction at a meeting held on the 8th of October 2019."