EPR: Delay and additional cost for EDF reactors in United Kingdom

The French group has announced a period of almost fifteen months in the commissioning of its new generation reactors in Hinkey Point. The budget, it increases 3 billion pounds.

Le Monde with AFP

The EPR never ceases to accumulate delays. This time, the future nuclear reactors of the new generation of the Hinkley Point site in the United Kingdom are concerned. EDF announced, Thursday, May 20, that the construction site would accuse a new one -year delay and additional costs of at least 3 billion pounds (3.5 million euros). “The start of the electricity production of unit 1 is now scheduled in June 2027. The risk of postponement of the delivery of the two units is evaluated at fifteen months, assuming the absence of new pandemic and additional effect From the war in Ukraine, “the group said in a statement. The Hinkley Point power plant is located in Somerset, in the southwest of England.

Initially, the start was scheduled for the end of 2025, and it had already been postponed, last year, to June 2026. The delay was put on the account of the two years of COVVI-19 pandemic: “The people, The resources and the supply chain have been put to the test and their efficiency was limited. In addition, the volume of studies and civil engineering works, and the cost of these works and in particular maritime works, have increased, “explains the group.

The next milestone will be the installation of the dome on unit 1 of the power plant, in the second quarter of 2023, against the end of 2022 previously.

flambé of costs on the other EPR

EDF estimates the amount of the project “between 25 and 26 billion pounds sterling” against 18 billion in 2016, during the green light from the British government and the start of the site. The project, originally controversial and disputed by the French unions for its cost, had already been reassessed at 22 to 23 billion pounds.

The EPR (European Pressurized Reactor) is a more powerful nuclear reactor model designed to be safer than previous generations. Three are completed, in Finland and China, and three are under construction, one in France and two in Hinkley Point. But the Finnish reactor (Olkiluoto-3) started in March with twelve years late, and on the two Chinese EPRs put into service in 2018 and 2019, one has been stopped since July 2021 for technical problems.

As for the French reactor, in Flamanville, in the English Channel, the cumulative delays reach eleven years for a loading of the fuel now provided for at 2 e quarter 2023, and the cost rose to 12.7 billions of euros according to EDF estimate on January 12, 2022. In 2006, this very powerful reactor of 1,650 MW was announced at 3.3 billion euros.

EDF has combined bad news since the start of the year. The group had to be recapitalized in April, and its profit will dive this year in large part because the French state asked it to sell more electricity at low prices – a file on which the CEO publicly opposes the government . In addition to the delays in French and English EPRs, the group must also solve a problem of corrosion of pipes which forced it to stop 12 of its 56 French reactors. In total, more than half of the reactors in France are now stopped for maintenance.

/Media reports.