Electricite de France SA, the operator of 58 atomic reactors in France, dropped to a record in Paris trading after newspaper Les Echos said the utility may have underestimated the cost of storing its most radioactive waste. EDF fell as much as 7.3 percent to 11.59 euros on Tuesday, the lowest since the stock began trading in the French capital in 2005. The shares were down 3.5 percent at 1:15 p.m. local time. France is seeking to store long-life radioactive waste from EDF’s reactors, as well as from Areva SA and atomic-research organization CEA, at a site near Bure, which straddles the Meuse and Haute-Marne regions. Andra, the agency that manages nuclear waste, has put the cost of building and operating a deep storage facility at about 30 billion euros ($32.6 billion), Les Echos reported, citing people it didn’t identify. EDF, Areva and the CEA last year estimated the bill at about 20 billion euros. “This report is clearly negative for all nuclear operators, and most specifically for EDF and Areva, but the risks of project-cost revaluation is not new,” Xavier Caroen, an analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co., said in a research note.
Bloomberg 12th Jan 2016 read more »
Les Echos 12th Jan 2016 read more »
Shares in French utility EDF sank to all-time lows on Tuesday after the country’s Andra nuclear waste agency said that storage costs could be higher than EDF’s estimates, although EDF disputed Andra’s figures. Mirroring German utilities E.ON and RWE , which saw their shares hit decade lows late last year over worries about nuclear decommissioning costs, shares in EDF fell as much as 7.3 percent before closing down 4.4 percent at 11.96 euros. Andra said costs for the Cigeo deep geological storage project could be as high as 30 billion euros or as low as 20 billion depending on assumptions about different cost factors in coming years. The energy ministry’s decision on the 10 billion-euro gap in estimates could have a huge impact on the already stretched balance sheet of EDF, whose 58 nuclear power plants produce the bulk of France’s nuclear waste. EDF already needs to borrow money just to pay its dividend and is set to spend tens of billions of euros on upgrading its ageing reactors, building new reactors at Hinkley Point in Britain and buying the reactor arm of Areva.
Reuters 12th Jan 2016 read more »