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Thursday, January 22, 2009

UPDATE 1-France could order two nuclear power plants


By Benjamin Mallet and Emmanuel Jarry

PARIS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - France could build two new nuclear power stations or share the work on the one already planned between government-backed utilities EDF and Suez-GDF.
An official at the Elysee presidential palace said on Thursday that a decision on at least one new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear power plant would be taken in the next few weeks.
He said the office was reviewing the location of the reactor and a possible joint investment by the two utilities.
The Les Echos newspaper said on Thursday that the government is considering two new reactors and would award one to EDF and the other to Suez-GDF, which would then team up with Germany's E.ON.
France has a leading position in the world for nuclear power stations and both utilities, in which the state has a stake, could obtain big export orders if the EPRs are a success.
Big construction projects are also a way to create jobs.
The crisis around Russian gas supplies via Ukraine has highlighted the strategic importance of energy independence and France now generates about 15 percent of its total energy needs and 80 percent of electricity with nuclear plants.
State-owned electricity giant EDF is already building an EPR in the north of France, near Flamanville, which will have capacity of 1,600 Megawatts. It will now cost 4 billions euros ($5.20 billion), at 2008 euros, after a upward revision of the 3.3 billion euro initial budget.
The government already has plans to order a second EPR for Flamanville. EDF and GDF Suez are contenders for that contract.
State-controlled nuclear energy group Areva is building an EPR in Finland and is also facing cost-overruns and delays due to the complexity of the new type of reactor.
EDF had planned to team up with big electricity users such as building materials group Saint-Gobain and steel group ArcelorMittal.
EDF bought almost all of British Energy and assets from Constellation Energy to be able to build nuclear stations in Britain and the United States.
EDF stock was up 2.5 percent and GDF rose 1.5 percent at 1027 GMT.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems France can build a number of reactors and have demand for the energy. They can export to Italy, Germany, the UK, the benelux countries, and use it internally.

Its starting to get impressive how many EPR's are being planned and proposed around the world. I read on the nuclear association website India may want to order 6 of them for a giant site. And the UK has proposals for like 8 of them.

I wonder if this means France might build 4 of them.