French nuclear giants play down Flamanville cost over run

Areva (EuronextCEI) has responded to criticism of nuclear project over-runs by insisting that the high cost at Flamanville is simply because it is the “first of a series” and future European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) costs will fall as the project develops.

Both Areva and EDF ((Euronext: EDF)), have defended the cost of new nuclear projects despite the $2.6bn of extra cost over-runs on their flagship next-generation reactor at the plant in Normandy.
Flamanville NPP
The first reactor built in France for 15 years caused eyebrows to be raised when it came to light that it is now expected to cost $11.3bn rather than the initial projection of $4.4bn.

It has led to speculation within France that nuclear power is no longer affordable.

However the Financial Times reports that figures from Areva show the EPR it is building at Flamanville will cost between $93 and $106 per megawatt hour, about the same as gas or coal-powered plants but cheaper than onshore wind farms.

Areva says that future EPR developments will fall to $79 per megawatt hour.

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