EdF charges Constellation pulls out of US reactor project

9th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

French electricity generator EDF said Saturday it was shocked and disappointed that Constellation Energy has decided to pull out of a project to build a nuclear power plant in the US state of Maryland.

"EDF is extremely disappointed and shocked to learn that Constellation has unilaterally decided to withdraw from the Calvert Cliffs 3 project," the company said in a statement.

Earlier, Constellation Energy had said it was unable to obtain a workable US federal loan guarantee for their joint venture, Unistar, to build the third generation reactor.

EDF said they had been "at the finish line" in the loan guarantee process and that Constellation had withdrawn "in spite of our repeated efforts to substantially decrease their exposure and risk to the project."

Constellation Energy said the federal loan guarantee application had not been withdrawn, but that its cost as calculated by the US government's Office of Management and Budget was "unreasonably burdensome and would create unacceptable risks and costs for our company."

No decisions have been made regarding the future of Calvert Cliffs 3, Constellation Energy added.

EDF charged, however, that Constellation was well aware of the consequences of its actions for the future of Calvert Cliffs 3, which it called a project of "monumental importance to Maryland" that would create 4,000 new jobs.

EDF, in which the French state holds an 85-percent stake, added it "remains committed to pursuing new nuclear in the U.S."

The French company has ambitions to build four third-generation European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) in the United States.

Analysts said Thursday that EDF's managers had expressed readiness to look for new US partners if its partnership with Constellation Energy collapsed.

© 2010 AFP

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