French utility Électricité de France (EDF)on July 25 stated it has pushed gas loading at its 1.6-GW Flamanville three nuclear mission to the fourth quarter of 2019 and elevated price estimates for the mission by one other €400 million (USD $467.1 million).

EDF stated its present price for the mission has ballooned to €10.9 billion (USD $12.75 billion), triple the unique price range. The utility at present stated start-up for the troubled EPR reactor won’t happen till a minimum of the second quarter of 2020. Fuel loading and business operation begin dates on the Normandy plant have now been revised twice previously 12 months; in October 2017, EDF stated gas loading was set for late 2018, with full manufacturing in 2019.

EDF stated the newest delay is because of defective welding of joints, which the utility had beforehand mentioned in April and May of this 12 months. The utility stated it has inspected 148 of 150 welds in the primary secondary system at Flamanville three and located 33 wanted repairs. It additionally stated it could rework a further 20 welds “although they don’t have any defects,” saying these welds don’t meet “EPR design part” requirements.

French nuclear regulator ASN has stated it’s monitoring EDF’s progress and analyzing its plans intimately. EDF at present stated it expects scorching testing of the EPR will start earlier than year-end.

The Flamanville mission has been delayed a number of instances since development started in 2007. The EPR reactor, which was designed by French nuclear agency AREVA (now Framatome), is the primary third-generation pressurized water reactor being inbuilt France, a rustic that receives about 75% of its energy from nuclear vitality. The reactor initially was scheduled to be on-line in 2012. Among the issues—in 2009, nuclear regulatory authorities in France, the UK, and Finland informed AREVA there have been issues with the reactor’s digital Instrumentation and Control (I&C) methods. Italian vitality firm Enel in 2012 withdrew its participation within the mission after EDF introduced $2.6 billion in price overruns.

EDF in 2013 acknowledged it was having bother constructing the EPR design. The firm’s CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, in 2015 stated the corporate was engaged on a “New Model” EPR design that might be simpler to construct. A 12 months later the corporate stated it could construct two of the brand new reactors in France by 2030. But after AREVA encountered monetary issues and merged with EDF, which introduced again the Framatome title, French Energy Minister Nicolas Hulot in January 2018 stated constructing any new EPR “is neither a precedence or a plan,” including that the nation’s objective is to develop renewable vitality and scale back its reliance on nuclear energy.

Hulot’s assertion got here after an explosion on the current Unit 1 on the Flamanville plant in 2017 raised extra issues in regards to the nation’s nuclear energy initiatives.

EDF at present additionally stated it’s reviewing the impression of delays at Flamanville on operation of the 2 reactors at its Fessenheim nuclear plant, “notably in relation to the French Energy Transition Law for inexperienced development, which caps nuclear electrical energy era capability.” EDF has stated it would shut Fessenheim as soon as Flamanville three is operational.

EDF has had success with an EPR reactor. EDF and China General Nuclear Power Group on June 29 stated Unit 1 on the Taishan plant in China was related to the facility grid, with business operation anticipated later this 12 months. EPR items are also being constructed on the Hinkley Point and Sizewell nuclear vegetation within the UK.

Another oft-delayed EPR mission continues to be shifting ahead in Finland. Olkiluoto three mission developer Teollisuuden Voima Oyj final month stated that unit is scheduled to be related to the grid in May 2019, after saying one other start-up delay final 12 months.

Darrell Proctor is a POWER affiliate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).

The put up EDF Announces More Delays, Cost Overruns for Flamanville three Reactor…

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