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The rocketing costs of Jules Horowitz materials testing reactor (JHR) hastened the demise of the Astrid fast nuclear reactor project

Jim Green  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia     The World Nuclear Association noted in June 2019 that the development of a commercial fast reactor is no longer a high priority in France.
Indeed the Astrid project ‒ a planned demonstration fast reactor ‒ is in the process of being indefinitely postponed or abandoned altogether, Le Monde reported in August 2019: pre-project design studies will be completed then shelved; the 25-person unit coordinating the project has been disbanded; the project might be pursued in the second half of the 21st century according to CEA (while a CEA inside source told Le Monde that the project is “mort” (dead); Astrid has been removed from budget allocations; and the project lacks support from energy utility EDF.
One of the reasons the Astrid project has been cancelled (or deferred to the second half of the century) is belt-tightening in the wake of another failing project: the 100 MW Jules Horowitz materials testing reactor (JHR). The cost of JHR has increased from €500 million to €2.5 billion and will increase further before completion. Completion of JHR will be at least eight years behind schedule if the current completion date of 2022 is met (the planned five-year construction schedule has been pushed out to 13 years).

September 1, 2019 - Posted by | business and costs, France

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