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Delay in the commissioning of the Flamanville EPR

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The commissioning of the Flamanville nuclear reactor is delayed by at least 3 years !

The nuclear reactor in Flamanville will not be put into service for a few years.
On July 26, EDF explained that due to welding problems, the commissioning of the EPR would be delayed.
Indeed, the quality differences on the welds to be made are located through the concrete enclosure of the reactor building which makes them difficult to access.
The date of commissioning is still unknown. The new schedule will be known after the publication of the ASN opinion and the cost of the work.
If this news is expected, the delay in commissioning the reactor will be more than 10 years in total since the project started in 2008.

Construction of new reactors in France

The delay in the commissioning of the Norman EPR is a blow for EDF and the new nuclear program in France.
This is also bad news for French climate policy.

The government wants to wait until 2021 to make decisions on the new nuclear with a detailed program working on construction costs, financing possibilities, our industrial capacity and needs.
The date was to correspond with the commissioning and the return on the functioning of the Rector EPR of Flamanville. But with the delay, it is possible that the latter can not make these proofs by then. That is why the new date of commissioning of the Norman EPR will weigh heavily in the balance for future decisions.

Meanwhile, the electrical situation in France is tense with :

  • the shutdown of the Fessenheim nuclear reactors scheduled for 2020,
  • the closure or conversion to the biomass of the last 4 coal plants planned for 2022,
  • the rise of renewable energies is insufficient because the delay, especially in offshore wind, will not be enough to fill the gap.

Between 2020 and 2022, France will have to rely on its 16 gas power plants in the territory and on the Landivisiau power station in Finistère, which is expected by 2021. This energy represents less carbon than coal but projects more than nuclear power. In addition, France will certainly have to increase the imports of electrons from German, Spanish or Italian, which will affect the carbon footprint with a strong use of fossil fuels outside our borders.