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EDF senior engineers call for delay in UK Hinkley nuclear power development

text Hinkley cancelledDissenting EDF engineers urge delay to Hinkley nuclear project Complexity makes completion date unrealistic, argues report, but French group sticks to timetable Ft.com  : By Michael Stothard in Paris, 29 Mar 16, 

Senior engineers at French utility EDF have called for at least a two year delay at the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear project in the UK and recommended a redesign of the reactor technology.

An internal white paper written by dissenting EDF engineers, which has been seen by the Financial Times, argues that Hinkley Point is so complex and untested that the company should announce a later completion date than the target of 2025.

The paper, circulated among top executives, said that the “realistic service date was 2027” due to the size of the project, continuing design modifications to the European Pressurised Reactor system and the “very low” competency of French supplier Areva in making some of the large components……..

The unsigned white paper was written after Mr Piquemal’s resignation by a group of senior engineers and other dissidents, according to people with knowledge of the document. The company plans to make the final investment decision on the project at a board meeting on May 11……..

The paper also addresses wider fears that the Hinkley project will in any case not be completed by 2025 and might suffer years of construction delays.

One person on the EDF board who had read the white paper said: “Few believe that we can build this [Hinkley Point] by 2025 any more.”…….

Three people close to the company said that CGN, EDF’s Chinese partner for Hinkley, also feared possible delays, attempting to insert a clause so it would take on a lower financial risk if there were a large problem.

In the case of a £5bn cost overrun, despite EDF having a 66.5 per cent stake in the project, EDF would be liable for 80 per cent of the additional costs, according to a document sent by the EDF finance department to the board’s audit committee in January…….https://next.ft.com/content/2ef61abe-f5b1-11e5-96db-fc683b5e52db

March 30, 2016 - Posted by | business and costs, France, UK

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