Areva Again Raises Estimate of Cost of Olkiluoto Reactor

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chief Executive Luc Oursel said the reactor in Olkiluoto will ultimately cost about 8 billion euros, same as a similar reactor it is building in Flamanville, in northern France. That's well over the last cost estimate of around EUR6.4 billion.

"Our estimation is that the whole project (in Finland) will have a cost in constant euros close to Flamanville," Mr. Oursel said during a press conference.

He said Areva's partners on the project, Siemens AG and Finnish utility TvO, have a say in the final costs.

Initially the construction of the reactor, designed to resist earthquakes and other shocks like the crash of a commercial airliner, was estimated at EUR3 billion, with an entry into service seen in May 2006.

Now the unit is expected to start producing power in 2015, while costs have steadily climbed, calling into question the profitability of the undertaking.

French utility Electricite de France SA recently raised the cost for the Flamanville reactor to EUR8 billion from an already upwardly revised estimate of EUR6 billion, reflecting delays and new regulations after the disaster in Japan last year.

Two other reactors of the same type--so-called Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors--are being built in Taishan, China, for the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp. Ltd.. Both are under budget and on schedule.

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