Construction of two Areva-designed nuclear units in China is delayed while tests are conducted on the reactor vessel of a similar project in France, regulators in Beijing said on Wednesday. China will review the construction of the reactors in the southern coastal city of Taishan, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Hong Kong, after French authorities complete their own safety evaluations of an Areva-designed EPR unit in France, Yao Bin, head of the nuclear emergency and security division under the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, said at a briefing on Wednesday. An Areva spokeswoman declined to comment. “The construction of the Taishan nuclear power plant and the construction of the EPR unit is slightly delayed,” said Xu Dazhe, head of the China Atomic Energy Authority, according to a transcript of the same briefing. “We have to figure out all the problems, and then undertake further follow-up works.” China is poised to be the first nation to operate an EPR, a third-generation reactor that produces more electricity than the average unit. French regulators in April 2015 said that Areva found weaker-than-expected steel in part of the reactor vessel for an EPR being built in France. The plant in China will likely start up before the unit at Flamanville in Normandy and another in Finland, Electricite de France’s chief executive officer Jean-Bernard Levy said in September.
Moneyweb 27th Jan 2016 read more »
Intractable problems at two nuclear plants under construction in France and Finland threaten more delays to EDF’s plan to build four nuclear reactors in Britain. The state-owned French utility announced an 18 billion pound ($26 billion) project in October to build two Areva-designed European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) at Hinkley Point, southwestern England, with Chinese partner CGN. The two companies also plan to build two more EPRs at Sizewell in eastern England. The plan was first announced in 2013, but an investment decision has been put off repeatedly as EDF struggles to find partners and funding. Now it is being delayed by EDF’s planned takeover of the reactor arm of Areva, which itself is being held up by EDF’s refusal to take on financial responsibility for delays and cost overruns at an EPR Areva is building in Finland. Weak spots discovered in a second EPR being built in France could potentially cause even bigger problems, experts say. On Wednesday, the French state came to the rescue of Areva – virtually bankrupt after four years of losses – with a five billion euro capital increase and EDF agreed on a provisional valuation of 2.5 billion euros for the reactor business.A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that before finalising Areva’s reactor arm takeover, EDF wants guarantees not only for OL3, but also for Flamanville. “It is difficult to imagine that EDF would make a final engagement decision on Hinkley Point without knowing what is going to happen with Flamanville and Taishan,” said Mycle Schneider, lead author of World Nuclear Industry Status Report. The vessels of two EPRs being built in Taishan, China were manufactured by the same supplier as that of Flamanville. No problems have so far been reported with the vessels there.
Reuters 28th Jan 2016 read more »