'New approach' puts back Flamanville 3

21 July 2011

The schedule for Flamanville 3 has been revised with commercial operation now slated for 2016, said EDF yesterday when describing "a new approach to organisation" of the project.


"In terms of industrial management, EDF has had to review its assessment of the extent of the work to be done, particularly in terms of civil engineering," said the firm, noting the extent of work on reinforcement for concrete and anchor plates had been "much higher than initial estimates."


Flamanville 3
How the Flamanville site will look when unit 3 is complete


The 1630 MWe Areva EPR unit is the second to start construction, after Olkiluoto 3 in Finland. Two others are being built at Taishan in China's Guangdong province, four more planned in the UK at Hinkley Point and Sizewell, while another one for France is pencilled in for Penly.


EDF is architect engineer of the project, which is taking shape alongside two 1300 MWe reactor units that continue to operate normally. While Areva is contributing the nuclear steam supply system, Bouyges Construction is leading the civil engineering consortium which included its subsidiaries Bouyges Travaux Publics and Quille, as well as Baudin-Châteauneuf.


Civil construction is 80% complete, said a statement, and "a start has been made on assembling piping and electrical equipment."


There have been two serious accidents at the site, one of which meant the suspension of work for some weeks earlier this year. There have also been problems with coordination of the nine main companies working on the project, which EDF hopes its new approach will solve.


The revised project schedule would see EDF sell the first power from the new reactor in 2016, around four years later than expected when construction started at the end of 2007. The price has increased similarly, standing now at €6 billion ($8.5 billion), up from a €3.3 billion estimate in 2005.


EDF Energy, the UK subsidiary, has been planning to announce a revised schedule for its first EPR towards the end of this year when it can take account of the final report from chief regulator Mike Weightman concerning the Fukushima accident. Company CEO Vincent de Rivaz had previously aimed for the end of 2017 at the time to begin commercial operation, with this already having been revised in statements to 2018.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News