EDF delays Flamanville 3 EPR project

20 July 2011

France’s first EPR project, Flamanville 3, has been delayed due to ‘structural and economic reasons,’ EDF announced today. The French utility says it will sell the first electricity produced by the EPR in 2016, two years later than previously planned. It has also issued a revised cost estimate of EUR 6 billion ($8.5bn) for the project.

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

"As a result, the first KWh produced by the EPR will be sold by EDF in 2016.”

According to EDF “This delay is linked to both structural and economic reasons."

EDF said that although 80% of the civil engineering work has been completed and that assembly of piping and electrical equipment has begun, two serious accidents at the site have slowed construction progress in 2011. In addition, detailed analyses that need to be carried out as a result of the Fukushima incident have also had an impact.

EDF said that, as a result, it has decided to introduce a new approach to organization of the project. This will include: definition of a more reliable industrial schedule, regular public site meetings to assess project progress and milestones, new site management and supervision practices, the creation of a committee to bring together the principal nine companies working on the site and the consolidation of requirements in terms of safety and preparation for intervention operations.

“This updated project, worth now some 6 billion euros, will give EDF valuable feedback and a tried and tested approach to organisation for future EPR reactors, particularly in the United Kingdom,” EDF said. In 2010, EDF estimated the cost of the Flamanville EPR at EUR 5 billion.

In terms of its UK plans, EDF has previously said that it will publish an ‘adjusted timetable’ for its proposed new build projects this autumn. This timetable will take into account the final Fukushima lessons learned report from Mike Weightman as well as EDF’s own lessons from its new-build projects in China and France, the utility said.

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