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France’s state auditor questions the wisdom of EDF’s Hinkley Point nuclear project in UK

Telegraph 11th July 2020,  Doubts cast on EDF’s ability to build power stations on time and budget.
French auditor questions wisdom of state-owned utility’s involvement in building the new Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset.

France’s state auditor has questioned the ability of the company building Britain’s next nuclear power plant to construct new reactors within “acceptable” costs and timeframes. State-owned EDF has already said that its Flamanville nuclear plant in Normandy will now cost €12.4bn due to the expense of fixing 66 faulty welds. On top of that, the project will cost another €6.7bn, according to France’s Court of Accounts in a new report.

EDF has also said the plant’s start date will be delayed until the end of 2022. Flamanville was originally due to cost €3.3bn and start operations  in 2012.

Presenting the damning 148-page report this week, Court of Accounts chief Pierre Moscovici said: “There is still uncertainty on the ability of the French nuclear industry, despite its current strong efforts, to build new nuclear reactors within a time frame and costs that remain acceptable.”

The criticism follows a £3bn surge in costs at the Hinkley Point C reactor EDF is building in Somerset. The bill for the project will now be £22.5bn – £2.9bn more than previously forecast – with overruns paid for by EDF. The energy giant has faced lags at its other projects, including Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor, which is running more than
a decade behind schedule.

In its report, the state auditor questioned the wisdom of involvement in Hinkley Point C, saying its construction was
“weighing heavily” on the financial situation of EDF, whose net debt hit €41bn at the end of last year.


July 13, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, France, politics international, UK

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