EDF reaffirms EPR reactor will start in 2012

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PARIS, Nov 12 (Reuters) - France's EDF plans to start the new-generation EPR reactor under construction at the Flamanville nuclear site in northwest France in 2012, and not in 2013 as stated by Areva earlier, EDF said on Wednesday.

"EDF confirms the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) will start in 2012," EDF said in a statement.

France's Areva said earlier on Wednesday the 1,650-megawatt EPR would start in 2013, not in 2012 as initially planned.

EDF, which supervises the works, said it and construction firm Bouygues, had taken the necessary steps to tackle construction challenges.

"We are planning to reinforce the building site teams, which will grow from 1,200 to 1,500 workers," EDF said.

EDF partly suspended construction works in May for around one month after the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) issued an order on pouring of concrete at the building site and criticised EDF for a lack of rigourous supervision.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine said in August delays may also be for reasons still kept secret, concerning the construction of the steel liner to protect the reactor.

Areva is already building a similar reactor for the Finnish utility TVO which has been delayed several times from its initial start-up target of 2009.

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