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Even France can’t build a nuclear reactor economically, and in the planned time

The spiralling costs at Flamanville, and at another EPR being built by French engineering company Areva in Finland, have raised questions about the viability of nuclear power.

“If there’s anywhere that the EPR should be built on time and on budget it surely must be France,” said Dr Paul Dorfman, founder of the Nuclear Consulting Group. “The fact that it hasn’t been has profound implications for nuclear new build in the UK.”

reactor-Flamanville-12

EDF plant cost rises damp nuclear hopes Ft.comBy Guy Chazan and James Boxell, 3 Dec 12 EDF, the French utility, said the cost of its new nuclear power station in northern France had increased by a third, raising fears that its planned UK plant may also be vulnerable to a similar budget blowout. But EDF Energy, the company’s UK subsidiary, insisted that the cost issues in Flamanville, Normandy, would have no bearing on its plans for Hinkley Point in Somerset.

The site on the Cotentin Peninsula, one of the most closely watched engineering projects in Europe, is the first nuclear power station in France for 15 years. The European pressurised reactor is a third-generation design which
the state-owned utility hopes to export around the world.
But it has been plagued by delays and cost overruns. EDF had
originally hoped to have the plant running in 2012 and pencilled in a
construction cost of €3.3bn. Last year that was revised upwards to
€6bn, with start-up pushed to 2016. On Monday, EDF said the full cost
would be €8.5bn.
EDF blamed the budget increase on new regulatory requirements and
lessons learnt in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. It also said
45 consoles had had to be replaced, with a knock-on effect on
scheduling. The extension of construction deadlines also had a big
financial impact, it said.

The spiralling costs at Flamanville, and at another EPR being built by French engineering company Areva in Finland, have raised questions about the viability of nuclear power. Even Jeff Immelt, chief
executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of
nuclear equipment, said in the summer that it was becoming “really
hard” to justify nuclear power, especially when there was so much
cheap shale gas available…….

Critics of nuclear energy have said that the bad news from Flamanville
does not bode well for Hinkley Point, which would be the first nuclear
plant to be built in the UK since Sizewell in the 1990s.
“If there’s anywhere that the EPR should be built on time and on budget it surely must be France,” said Dr Paul Dorfman, founder of the Nuclear Consulting Group. “The fact that it hasn’t been has profound implications for nuclear new build in the UK.”
The Flamanville cost increase comes at a sensitive time for EDF, which
is negotiating with the UK government over the price it will get for
electricity generated at Hinkley Point. Too high a price will be seen
by critics as a big subsidy to nuclear…….
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/662e0b40-3d68-11e2-9f35-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2E1TCQFJH

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December 4, 2012 - Posted by | business and costs, France

1 Comment »

  1. [...] Even France can’t build a nuclear reactor economically, and in the planned time (nuclear-news.net) [...]

    Pingback by Cost of Jaitapur reactors could triple to nearly Rs. 35,500 crore « kracktivist | December 6, 2012 | Reply


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