New Projects, Nuclear, Reactors

Nuclear power plant delayed until 2016, EDF says

France-based EDF said July 20 that its 1,650 MWe  Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor will not begin producing electricity until 2016, around four years later than earlier estimates. Cost estimates for the nuclear reactor now are around 6 billion Euro ($8.5 billion) up from 3.3 billion Euro in 2005.

The company is introducing what it calls a “new approach” to organization at the construction site of the European Pressurized Reactor. The approach is in response to recent events that EDF said have slowed progress at the power plant work site.

EDF linked the delay to structural and economic factors. In terms of industrial management, EDF has had to review its assessment of the extent of work to be done, particularly in terms of civil engineering. It said that iron reinforcements and anchor plates are “much higher” than initial estimates.

While 80 percent of the civil engineering work has been completed, two serious accidents have taken place, one of which stopped all civil engineering work at the site for a period of weeks earlier in 2011.

EDF also said analyses carried out as part of the earthquake and tsunami that damaged Tokyo Electric’s Fukushima nuclear station will be submitted to the Nuclear Safety Authority in September.

The new organizational approach includes:

Defining a new, more reliable industrial schedule incorporating all of these points
Launching regular public “site” meetings to assess the progress of the project as well as the key advances made
Establishing new practices in terms of site management and supervision
Coordinating teams and partners with, for example, the creation of the “F10 committee”, bringing together the nine main companies working on the site
Consolidating requirements in terms of safety and preparation for intervention operations.

Flamanville 3 is the first nuclear power plant to be built in France for 15 years. It is also the first EPR.

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