A fire-sale is underway as the punch-drunk nuclear power industry tries to stop the rot. The French government is selling assets so it can prop up its heavily indebted nuclear utilities. Électricité de France (EDF) announced in 2015 that it would sell A$13.8 billion of assets by 2020 to rein in its debt, which now stands at A$51.8 billion. EDF is purchasing parts of its bankrupt sibling Areva, which has accumulated losses of over A$14 billion over the past five years. French EPR reactors under construction in France and Finland are three times over budget ‒ the combined cost overruns amount to about A$17.5 billion. Bloomberg noted in April 2015 that Areva’s EPR export ambitions are “in tatters“, and now Areva itself is in tatters. Meanwhile, Japanese industrial giant Toshiba would like to sell ndebted, US-based nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse, but there are no buyers so Toshiba must instead sell profitable assets to cover its nuclear debts and avoid bankruptcy. One site where these problems come together is Moorside in the UK. A Toshiba / Engie consortium was planning to build three AP1000 reactors, but Toshiba wants to sell its stake in the consortium in the wake of its massive losses from AP1000 construction projects in the US. Engie reportedly wants to sell its stake in the consortium, and the French government has already sold part of its stake in Engie … to help prop up EDF and Areva! Deck-chairs are being shuffled.
Renew Economy 22nd Feb 2017 read more »