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France’s Electricite de France (EDF) boasts new cheaper nuclear reactor – makes Hinkley C nuclear project look unwise.

Times 17th Feb 2018, EDF has claimed that a new nuclear reactor it is developing will be a
better and cheaper version of the two it is building in Britain. The
state-owned French energy group said that its “optimised” version of the
European Pressurised Reactor being installed at Hinkley Point in Somerset
would be unveiled in 2020 and was destined initially for the French market.

A spokeswoman said that the optimised reactor would be between 25 per cent
and 30 per cent cheaper than the existing version. It is scheduled to be
available for use from 2030. The newspaper Le Monde reported that the new
reactor could cost as little as 6 billion euros or £5.3 billion.

The cost of the two reactors due to come on stream at Hinkley Point in 2025 is
£19.6 billion. Any improvements in EDF’s reactors would raise more
questions about the sustainability of the Hinkley Point C project and
another power station at Sizewell, Suffolk.

However, British experts derided the announcement of an optimised and cheaper reactor as a sign of
the French company’s desperation. Paul Dorfman, founder of the Nuclear
Consulting Group, said EDF’s claim that costs could come down “goes against
all technological logic”. He dismissed the claim as a public relations
exercise to avert a plunge in EDF’s credit rating and as an attempt to woo
President Macron, who is strongly in favour of nuclear power.

February 17, 2018 - Posted by | France, marketing of nuclear, politics international, UK

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