EDF nuclear power plant construction faces legal challenge

Friday, December 7, 2007

December 04, 2007: 05:55 AM EST

PARIS, Dec. 4, 2007 (Thomson Financial) -- French anti-nuclear group Sortir du Nucleaire said it has mounted a legal challenge to the construction of EDF's Flamanville nuclear reactor and hopes to get work stopped.

EDF said the construction of the 1,650 megawatts EPR European pressurised water reactor, to be supplied by Areva, has started following ground preparation at the site.

Sortir du Nucleaire said the Nantes administrative appeal court has announced it will make its decision on the case during 2008.

The campaign group achieved a victory in June when the state council, the highest court of appeal, halted the dismantling of the disused Brennilis nuclear power plant.

The only EPR on which building work has begun, the Olkiluoto 3 project in Finland, is two years behind schedule Cost over-runs are estimated at 1.5 bln eur.

'The EPR programme is a major error which there is still time to review, through mass mobilisation or a legal decision,' Sortir du Nucleaire said in a statement.

Areva last week announced orders for the third and fourth EPRs, both to be supplied to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) as part of an 8 bln eur deal.

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