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Finland's TVO claims partial win in Areva nuclear dispute
by Staff Writers
Helsinki (AFP) July 20, 2017

Finnish utility TVO on Thursday claimed another partial victory in arbitration in a bitter dispute with France's Areva over a troubled nuclear reactor, which the French side said was "disappointing".

Areva, together with German engineering group Siemens, has been building in Finland since 2005 what is meant to be a showcase of next-generation nuclear power, but delays and cost overruns have turned the project into a fight with their Finnish client TVO being arbitrated by the International Chamber of Commerce.

TVO, which had received a previous favourable decision in November last year, said the ICC this time addressed the issues of preparation, review, submittal and approval of design and licensing documents for the project.

The ICC issued a partial award which "rejected the analytical methods that the supplier (Areva) used," TVO Deputy CEO Risto Siilos told AFP, adding that content and the timing of submitting documents are key issues.

"With this award and the one earlier in November (the ICC) gave us more confidence that the balance of the claims is in TVO's favour," he added.

The ICC's partial award did not, however, take a position on the monetary claims of the companies.

An Areva spokesman said it was "disappointed by this partial decision" but reminded that the proceeding is ongoing with at least another partial award expected before a final decision in early 2018.

"Not all key topics were addressed," the Areva spokesman added.

The core issue of financial liabilities remains unsolved, with Areva claiming damages of 3.4 billion euros ($3.9 billion), and TVO 2.6 billion euros.

The Olkiluoto 3 reactor in western Finland was supposed to be the world's first European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), with a start date initially planned in 2009 but now delayed to 2018.

In September, TVO took fresh legal action against Areva in a French commercial court to seek assurances that the Olkiluoto 3 project would not get delayed again.

Areva has promised that it won't, saying the plant's cold tests, without nuclear fuel, are due to begin this year.

The latest decision "does not impact the project at all which is proceeding according to the planned milestones," the Areva spokesman said.

Meanwhile under a restructuring plan the troubled Areva Group's nuclear reactors business is being bought by French utility EDF, and the deal is expected to be finalised this year.

Britain must leave EU nuclear body: Verhofstadt
Brussels (AFP) July 12, 2017
Britain cannot stay a member of the EU nuclear regulator Euratom after Brexit, whether it wants to or not, European Parliament Brexit pointman Guy Verhofstadt said Wednesday. But Euratom could continue its functions with regard to Britain if London signs an association agreement with the European Union following its departure from the bloc, he added. Membership of Euratom has become a ma ... read more

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