The decision is not yet made, but the costs are already worrying. EDF estimates that the unit cost of any new EPR is at least 7.5 billion euros. This is more than double the original price of the third generation nuclear reactor Flamanville who accumulated the setbacks, according to the content of an internal document revealed Saturday by Le Monde. The report develops the hypothesis of six new EPRs, a possibility already mentioned by the government and the electrician.
In its study, “EDF calculates that six EPR reactors built in pairs, financed over a period of about twenty years, would cost at least 46 billion euros.Either between 7.5 and 7.8 billion euros per reactor” , says the daily. Information on which EDF declined to comment. The Ministry of Ecological Transition, in charge of the dossier, recalled for its part the words of the minister Elisabeth Borne according to which the construction of new EPR is only one “scenario among others” and that a decision will be taken only after the commissioning of Flamanville (Manche).
“Failure” for EDF
Launched in 2006, initially to come into service in 2012 for a cost of 3.3 billion euros, the first French third generation reactor has suffered setbacks. Its start-up is now scheduled for the end of 2022 and its cost has been revalued to 12.4 billion euros. At the end of October, a audit report commissioned by the government had called this project “a failure for EDF” and the French nuclear industry.
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In the aftermath, the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire had denounced “a lack of unacceptable rigor” and summoned EDF, whose State is 83.7% shareholder, to put in place an “action plan” d 'here a month to hand over the nuclear industry to the “best levels of requirement”. The report nevertheless felt that the EPR had “demonstrated the relevance” of its design and called for the state to launch “stable long-term programs for the construction of new reactors and maintenance of the existing fleet”. According to Le Monde, a more specific project should be submitted to the Board in the first half of 2020 and could lead to a vote.