EDF raises French EPR reactor cost to over $11 billion

Monday, December 3, 2012

PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF has raised the cost of the construction of its next-generation nuclear reactor by more than 2 billion euros on Monday, the latest in a series of overruns for the first EPR reactor built in France.

Stricter regulation in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster contributed to bringing the total cost of the 1,600-MW Flamanville European pressurized reactor to 8.5 billion euros ($11.11 billion), the group said.

In 2005, the state-owned utility estimated the reactor's cost at 3.3 billion euros.

The start-up date of the reactor, which had been delayed by two years in 2010 and another two years last year, is still expected for 2016, EDF said.

"The development of the boiler design, additional engineering studies, the integration of new regulatory requirements and everything learnt from Fukushima have also been taken into account," EDF said in a statement.

Flamanville 3 is the first nuclear reactor built in France in 15 years and a landmark project for EDF, which hopes to capitalize on three decades of experience to win deals to build nuclear plants abroad.

Repeated delays have also hit the construction of the first EPR reactor, Finland's Olkiluoto 3, built by French nuclear group Areva and Germany's Siemens.

EDF, which operates France's 58 nuclear reactors, said it had completed 93 percent of the civil engineering and 36 percent of the electro-mechanical equipment in place.

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