Money troubles at Hinkley Point Nuclear power plant

 

The costs of building the new generation of nuclear power plant has risen up to £2.9 billion and the total bill could be more than £22,5 billion, estimated by the constructor EDF.

Source : « HinkleyPointCoast » par Richard Baker. Sous licence CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

An increase in costs

EDF Energy, the company in charge of the construction, warned about the delay and increase in costs for Hinkley Point C, the new generation nuclear reactor. This new power plant is an EPR, a pressurized water reactor. EDF also informed about the risk of a delayed delivery which can last 15 and 9 months for two reactors respectively. EDF Energy aims to start the production of electricity by means of the reactor n ° 1 at the end of 2025.

In fact, by adapting the new EPR reactor to the UK regular standards, EDF Energy underestimated the real cost of the project. Actually, additional charges, as explained by EDF Energy, occured mainly due to the difficult soil conditions, making the subsoil works more costly than planned. Besides, the revision of the objectives of operational action plans and the implementation of the functional design of a head serial adapted to the UK regulatory context  also contributed to the additional charges.

Same situation in France

This situation is very similar to the nuclear power plant located in Flamanville in France. The Flamanville EPR reactor in the Channel, whose construction began in 2007, was originally scheduled to be connected to the electricity grid in 2012 and cost around 3.5 billion euros. In practice, it will not start until 2023 at the earliest.

EDF Energy announced in a press release that the work on the reactor would lead to the additional costs : additional 1.5 billion euros, bringing the total project budget to more than 12.4 billion euros.

In reaction to this delay at Hinkley Point,  Minister of Economy and Finance of France, Bruno Le Maire said that French people will not pay for this postponement. EDF, known as Électricité de France, is a company 83,7% owned by the French government. Let’s hope that the delays in the construction of the Flamanville reactor will serve as an example for Hinkley Point.

 

Sources : 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/25/hinkley-point-nuclear-plant-to-run-29m-over-budget

https://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/monde/europe/hinkley-point-la-construction-de-l-epr-devrait-couter-entre-2-et-3-milliards-de-plus_2099496.html

 

 

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