French nuclear power plant Flamanville will face further delays and additional costs, according to French power giant EDF.
Problems with the welding at the site, that were first reported in April, have been confirmed by EDF this week in 33 of the 148 inspected fuses, which could have significant implications on the project’s costs and cause further holdups for the start of the long delayed nuclear reactor.
Following the findings the company had “adjusted the Flamanville EPR schedule and construction costs… The loading of nuclear fuel is now scheduled for the fourth quarter in 2019 and the target construction costs have been revised from €10.5bn to €10.9bn.”
Already seven years late and €7 billion over budget, Flamanville is one of three plants being built in Europe using European Pressurised Reactor technology.
Last year, EDF admitted that the cost of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project, which is also using EPR technology, was set to spiral by an additional £2.2bn and would run a year behind schedule.
The potential Flamanville delays will increase pressure on EDF’s nuclear capabilities, which was heightened further towards the end of last year when French junior environment minister Brune Poirson announced the government’s plans to decrease the country’s use of nuclear in its energy mix as soon as possible.