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France’s Flamanville EPR fiasco – not a good look for UK’s new nuclear reactors

Dr Paul Dorfman, of the Energy Institute at University College, London, believes the British public is facing a turbulent nuclear future. He says: ‘It’s extremely likely that the construction at Hinkley Point will be over-budget and late. It is unfortunate because it will be the UK taxpayer and consumer, no doubt, who will be picking up the bill.’…..

Professor Steve Thomas, an energy policy expert at the University of Greenwich, has written a damning report on the EPR project, claiming, in 2010, that the entire design and construction was ‘in crisis’. His 26-page report catalogued the errors at Flamanville and in Finland, and concluded construction had gone ‘dramatically wrong’.

Reactor-EPR-Flamanville

Deaths, chilling safety lapses, lawsuits, huge cost over-runs and delays: Why we can’t trust the French with Britain’s nuclear future, Daily mail UK, , 26 October 2013,  By STEVE BIRD

  • EDF’s nuclear reactor plant at Flamanville, Normandy, is beset by financial mismanagement and the deaths of workers
  • EDF, along with French nuclear group Areva and investors from China, are due to start work on a £16bn plant in Hinkley Point in Somerset in 2017 It will be the first nuclear reactor in the UK in nearly 20 years – and also first European Pressurised Reactor (EPR)
  • … yet no reactor of this design is yet working anywhere in the world……
  • The optimism and excitement of that first day of construction is now long gone.Since then, the predicted cost of just under £3 billion has rocketed to more than £7 billion (it could go up still further). Not only have costs more than doubled, but the estimated completion time is almost twice as long as was promised: it was meant to start producing energy in 2012, but that has been put back to 2016 at the earliest.

    Although the fitting of the dome earlier this year was described by EDF as the last ‘critical’ stage of the project, it continues to be plagued by delays, soaring costs, and litigation in both the criminal and civil courts…….

    In Britain, there are many grounds for serious concern about EDF’s chequered track record. Even former EDF employees are clearly worried.

    For example, Francois Roussely, a former EDF chief executive, delivered a report in 2010 in which he said that the projects in Flamanville and Olkiluoto had seriously damaged the reputation of the untested type of reactor due to be built at Hinkley Point.

    Meanwhile, Dr Paul Dorfman, of the Energy Institute at University College, London, believes the British public is facing a turbulent nuclear future. He says: ‘It’s extremely likely that the construction at Hinkley Point will be over-budget and late. It is unfortunate because it will be the UK taxpayer and consumer, no doubt, who will be picking up the bill.’…..

    Professor Steve Thomas, an energy policy expert at the University of Greenwich, has written a damning report on the EPR project, claiming, in 2010, that the entire design and construction was ‘in crisis’. His 26-page report catalogued the errors at Flamanville and in Finland, and concluded construction had gone ‘dramatically wrong’.

    So what does Professor Thomas think of the British Government having just placed an order for an EDF and Avera-built plant of its own? ‘I would be a bit worried about ordering one. I think it’s a serious financial risk.’

    ‘First, I believe the British authorities expected the Flamanville and Finland reactors to both be online a long time ago. And then the respective nuclear regulatory authorities would have done a review of how this system operates. But that has not happened.’

    He predicts that the construction of such a plant in Hinkley will end up being at least two years behind schedule and so incur extra costs.

    To counter such concerns, EDF and the Government say the consortium set up to build the plant will foot the bill. But Professor Thomas is not sure. ‘Will it mean that the cost is passed on to consumers?

    The minister has said not. But, frankly, I don’t believe him.: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2477202/Deaths-chilling-safety-lapses-lawsuits-huge-cost-runs-delays-Why-trust-French-Britains-nuclear-future.html#ixzz2j4eZ51NI

October 29, 2013 - Posted by | business and costs, France, UK

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