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EDF announces further cost increase and new delay to Flamanville 3 project

25 January 2022

EDF announced on January 11 that its long-delayed Flamanville 3 reactor project will be delayed by up to six months and will cost an extra €300 million euros (£251m) than previously estimated. The expected total cost of the project has increased from €12.4 billion (£10.3b) to €12.7 billion (£10.6b), four times the original estimate.

Image: EDF
Image: EDF

In a statement, the French utility said that the schedule for the project had been adjusted after “taking into account the state of progress of the operations and the preparation for start-up in an industrial context made more difficult by the pandemic.”

The fuel loading date has been moved from the end of 2022 to the second quarter of 2023. The main reason for the delay is related to incorrect welding, EDF said, which is now expected to be fixe by August. A separate batch of repairs to penetration welds on the reactor building have now been successfully completed and deemed compliant by France’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), EDF said.

The Flamanville project incorporates EDF’s next-generation EPR nuclear reactor. The EPR has also faced delays and cost overruns outside of France. EDF’s statement said that inspections carried out on fuel assemblies at China’s Taishan No. 1 reactor showed mechanical wear of certain assembly components. Such a phenomenon has already been identified in several reactors of the French nuclear fleet, but does not question the design of the EPR, EDF added.

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