EDF to announce 2-year delay at new reactor: union

29th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

French electricity giant EDF will announce on Friday a two-year delay to the start-up of its new nuclear power plant in Flamanville along with a 1.0-billion-euro cost increase, a union source said.

"They are going to announce a cost of 5.0 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) and a delay of two years tomorrow (Friday) when they publish their (financial) results," the source said Friday, asking not to be named.

Construction of the third generation European Pressurised Water reactor, located on the Channel coast in Lower Normandy, was initially reported to cost 3.3 billion euros, a figure that was later raised to 4.0 billion euros in December 2008 in response to rising prices of raw materials.

The union source said he believed the real cost of the project was closer to 6.0 billion euros, with the increase not unexpected for new projects.

EDF declined to comment on possible changes to its timetable, with a spokeswoman telling AFP: "A certain number of studies" are under way "to evaluate the situation and its consequences."

The reactor is set to become operational in 2012. On Thursday French newspapers Le Monde and Le Parisian also spoke of a likely two-year delay to 2014.

EDF in November implicitly acknowledged a one-year delay, drawing a distinction between the reactor's planned operational start-up in 2012 and "the production of commercialised electricity," which it said would begin in 2013.

© 2010 AFP

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