French nuclear regulator ASN is set to give safety clearance for the nuclear reactor vessel being built for French utility EDF at its Flamanville site, Le Figaro newspaper said on Wednesday. The newspaper said the regulator had provided EDF with elements of a preliminary report that indicate the equipment meets the safety conditions for the reactor to start normally. EDF’s shares closed up 2.2 percent at 9.518 euros. The company declined to comment on the report. An ASN spokeswoman said the investigation was continuing and that the ASN had not taken a decision. She said a provisional ruling would be issued this summer, followed by a final decision in September. Non-approval would have meant billions of euros in extra costs for EDF and jeopardised its planned takeover of nuclear engineering group Areva’s reactor business. Several sources familiar with the situation said the ASN had not yet finalised its technical report on the Flamanville reactor, which is due at the end of June. Once ready, the report will be reviewed by EDF, reactor maker Areva and a group of independent experts who will then issue a non-binding recommendation. Based on this, the ASN is expected to publish a provisional ruling, which will be available for public consultation for at least a month. Because of the summer break, that process is expected to last until September. The ASN is then likely to take a few more weeks to review the outcome of the consultation before it issues a final ruling in September or early October, experts say.
Reuters 7th June 2017 read more »