While the fresh delay is limited, it will come at a time when France may be struggling with power supplies again next winter as some existing reactors are halted for maintenance and most of its remaining coal-fired station have been shut.
Electricite de France SA said Covid-19 has postponed the commissioning of a new nuclear reactor in western France by a couple of months and raised the expense of a plant that is as of now billions of euros over budget. The pandemic has made it more convoluted to perform fixes and set up the startup of the Flamanville-3 reactor, Paris-based EDF said in an assertion Tuesday. The fuel loading date has been pushed back to the second quarter of the following year from the end of 2022, and the assessed cost at completion expanded by 300 million euros ($340 million) to 12.7 billion euros, it said.
EDF had warned of a possible slippage in the Flamanville project, whose budget has about quadrupled since its launch in 2007, because of the need to fix dozens of faulty welds. Despite the mishaps, President Emmanuel Macron has said France needs to build new reactors to replace some of EDF’s aging 56 units and cope with an expected increase in electricity demand as the country seeks to reduce carbon emissions in everything from transport to heating.
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