EDF announced on Wednesday new delays and additional costs for the new-generation EPR nuclear reactor under construction in Framanville (Manche), especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whose start-up has been delayed until next year.
“The fuel loading date has been pushed back from the end of 2022 to the second quarter of 2023. The cost of completion is estimated to be from 12.4 billion euros to 12.7 billion euros,” the group said in a press release.
Under construction since 2007, the EPR has accumulated disappointing results, with major problems in welding recently.
EDF explained that the new timetable, announced on Wednesday, takes into account the “progress status of operations and start-up preparations in an industrial environment made more difficult by the pandemic”.
As President Emmanuel Macron announced on November 9, France is ready to start a new nuclear reactor construction program.
The Flamanville EPR is currently the only one built in France. Three EPR reactors are already in operation worldwide: two in China, Taishan and one in Finland.
In July, an incident shut down one of Taishan’s EPR reactors. EDF explained Wednesday that it suffered “mechanical wear on certain assembly components” that “does not call into question the EPR model”.