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France’s EDF company is trying to ‘restore trust’ in the nuclear industry

EDF unveils plan to ‘restore trust’ in French nuclear industry, Move comes as utility’s next-generation plant is beset by ballooning costs and delays, 

Michael Pooler in Paris ,, 13 Dec 19,
EDF has drawn up a plan to “restore trust” in France’s nuclear power industry after a government-commissioned report lambasted failings at the energy group’s troubled flagship nuclear project. The state-backed company said it would spend €100m on measures including a skills programme, a scheme for selecting suppliers and initiatives to improve project management and industrial standards. This came after the French government, which owns 84 per cent of EDF, gave the utility a month to draw up a scheme to fix problems at Flamanville after the flagship project stumbled into delays and cost overruns.
  A government-commissioned report into the failings at Flamanville, published in October, also pointed to a loss of skills in France’s nuclear sector. “We want to restore more trust in the ability of the French nuclear industry to deliver according to its objectives, in terms of cost, time and schedule,” said EDF’s chairman and chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy.  ……
Flamanville is considered a litmus test for next-generation European Pressurised Reactor technology, which supporters say will be a bigger, safer and more efficient type of nuclear plant. But the plant’s construction, which was supposed to last four-and-a-half years, is now expected to take 15 years to complete at about four times its originally projected cost of €3.3bn. This follows problems such as faulty weldings. Once a leader in atomic power, France will not decide whether to build more EPRs until Flamanville is up and running.
  To address the sector-wide issues identified in October’s damning report, EDF will seek to change how risks are shared with suppliers and set up a college dedicated to “nuclear disciplines” where there are shortages, such as welding. ……

EDF’s plans come during a turbulent period for the group. Not only is it under fire for delays at another planned EPR site in the UK, but it is heading towards a corporate reorganisation.
This would create a government-owned mother company, EDF Bleu, containing its nuclear and hydroelectric assets. Bleu’s main subsidiary, EDF Vert, will house renewable energy, networks and services businesses, and will have a stock market listing. Under an energy planning law enacted this year, France must reduce its share of electricity produced by nuclear from 72 per cent to 50 per cent by 2035, with the rest coming from renewables. However, new atomic power stations may need to be built to replace ageing facilities, which will also need investment for retrofitting and maintenance. ….

December 14, 2019 - Posted by | France, spinbuster

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