French power company EDF estimates construction of six new-generation EPR nuclear reactors in the next 15 years would cost at least €46 billion ($51 billion) if the government decides to build them, French newspaper Le Monde reported on 9 November.
Each reactor would cost €7.5-7.8 billion, based on building the reactors in pairs with financing over about 20 years, Le Monde said. The estimate was in a confidential document presented to the EDF board on 25 July which detailed the first version of its project "Nouveau nucléaire de France". The cost is less than for the EPR under construction at the Flamanville NPP, which is now put at €12.4 billion, but more than the original cost of the EPR, which was €3.3 billion. For each of reactor, dismantling provisions of €400 million would be included as well as €500 million for "uncertainties”, Le Monde noted.
The French government is still considering a newbuild programme. Under the energy and climate law, passed in September by parliament, France is to decreases the share of nuclear energy in electricity production by 2035 from 75% to 50% along with 50% renewables. The energy roadmap for the coming decade - the Multi-Year Energy Programme (EPP) - plans to close 14 nuclear reactors by 2035 and significantly expand solar and wind power. The energy and climate law does not specifically mention the construction of a new fleet of reactors. However, President Emmanuel Macron called on the nuclear industry to present, in mid-2021, a plan allowing the executive to decide whether or not it was necessary to build new ones. In a letter sent in early September to EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy, the government asked him to study precisely the development of a fleet of six EPR-type reactors within 15 years.