New France nuclear reactor delayed to 2016: EDF

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French energy group EDF announced Wednesday a further two-year delay to its new-generation nuclear reactor at Flamanville in western France.

"EDF has decided to introduce a new approach to organisation at the Flamanville EPR in response to recent events that have slowed down progress on the work site," it said in a statement.

It cited "structural and economic reasons," including "two serious accidents" this year that have held up engineering work, and safety tests carried after the Fukishima nuclear disaster in Japan in March.

The Flamanville project is now scheduled to start producing energy in 2016, it added. It estimated the cost of the project at six billion euros ($8.5 billion), almost double the initial estimate.

Built by Areva and due to be operated by EDF, it is the second European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in the world after another much-delayed one planned in Finland, which is now due to come online in 2013.

© 2011 AFP

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