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Thursday
Jun202019

12 years late, overbudget and delayed again: The Flamanville Fiasco

It was supposed to be the "flagship" new reactor design and a French nuclear feather in EDF's cap. Instead, the EPR -- absurdly dubbed the Evolutionary Power Reactor during its short aspirational tenure in the US -- has proven to be both a dinosaur and a loadstone around the neck of the French utility.

Now, the Flamanville-3 EPR, already "under construction" for 12 years on France's Normandy coast, and wildly over-budget, will have its startup date (if that ever arrives) delayed again due to faulty welds which EDF hoped to get away without repairing. Instead, the ASN -- the French nuclear safety authority -- has ordered EDF to repair 8 of the welds, which traverse the containment vessel and were a clear safey liability. Given the welds are reasonably inaccessible they will be both difficult and expensive to fix, resulting in more delays and further cost over-runs. The costs for the project have now topped $12.4 billion, almost four times the original estimate of $3.3 billion when it began.

More here and here.