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EDF’s Flamanville reactor once more delayed for three years

Published 26 July 2019

PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF’s project to build a new nuclear reactor in Flamanville will be delayed by at least three years due to problems with the weldings, EDF said on Friday.

Regulator ASN in June ordered EDF to repair 8 hard-to-reach weldings in the reactor’s containment building.

EDF said in its first-half earnings statement that “at this stage, commissioning cannot be expected before end of 2022”.

“Given the time needed to prepare, execute and test the repairs ... there will be a delay of more than three years,” EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said on a call.

He reiterated EDF will give a cost estimate in coming months, after a detailed examination of three repair scenarios.

In July 2018, just months after the weldings problems were first reported, EDF had already delayed fuel loading to end 2019, and added 400 million euros to the budget, pushing total cost to 10.9 billion euros.

When construction of Flamanville started in 2007, the original target launch date was 2012, which means that this new delay will push the overall delay to more than a decade.