by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 18, 2016
The French energy minister, Segolene Royal, has said that she is seriously considering postponing the construction of a new nuclear power station in the UK, amid cost-overruns and technical difficulties at two of its plants in France and Finland.
The largely French state-owned energy giant EDF has been drawing up plans to build the next-generation nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in the southwest of England, but has been hit by a series of deals and the company is yet to make a final investment decision over the project.
The project has been hit by financial woes because of a drop in demand for nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster, in March 2011, when a magnitude nine earthquake set off a tsunami that hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant resulting in the meltdown of three of the plant's six nuclear reactors.
In a French television interview, Thursday, French energy minister, Segolene Royal, was asked whether Hinkley Point would be postponed. "It's still under discussion. There's an agreement between France and Britain, so things should go ahead. But the trade unions are right to ask for the stakes to be re-examined.
"This project must provide further proof on the one hand of its worth, and on the other must provide assurances that the investments in the project won't redirect or dry up investments that must be made in renewable energy," she said.
EDF has been struggling to get building underway at Hinkley Point because the sheer cost of building the plant has been a major sticking point, with British taxpayers being forced to back the deal by providing a guaranteed price of generated electricity from the plant.
EDF Energy - the UK subsidiary of EDF - agreed a 'strike price' with the UK Government, which guarantees EDF a price of US$141 MWh for generating electricity over 35 years and a debt guarantee. Despite this, problems with EDF's partner Areva - which manufactures the nuclear reactor - have led to delays in putting finance into place.
French Financial Fears
The CEO of EDF, Jean-Bernard Levy, in September announced a further postponement of the commissioning of the gigantic new nuclear power station at Flamanville in northern France and admitted the price has more than tripled.
Levy said the first French third-generation European Pressurized Water reactor (EPR) with a capacity of 1650 MW will cost in the region of US$12 billion - more than three times the original projected cost of US$3.37 billion and fuel loading will not even start until late 2018, six years behind schedule.
Meanwhile, construction by EDF and Siemens of the Olkiluoto nuclear plant in Finland - based on the same design as Flamanville has also suffered many delays and cost over-runs.
Source: Sputnik News
Nuclear Energy Industry News
Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|