Areva Suspends Financial Targets, EDF Confirms Flamanville-3 Delays

By David Dalton
19 November 2014

Areva Suspends Financial Targets, EDF Confirms Flamanville-3 Delays
Flamanville-3 in September 2014 (Source: EDF)

19 Nov (NucNet): French nuclear group Areva has suspended its 2015 and 2016 financial targets, blaming delays to the Olkiluoto-3 EPR project in Finland, the slow restart of Japan’s reactors and a lacklustre nuclear market.

Meanwhile today, EDF said the Flamanville-3 EPR being built by Areva in Normandy, France, has been delayed, with commercial operation put back from 2016 to 2017.

Areva, about 87 percent owned by the French state, said the new schedule for the completion of Olkiluoto-3 for Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) and the inability to adapt “the pace of payments” with the customer, had consequences on cash flow for 2015 and beyond.

On 31 October 2014 the Areva-Siemens consortium building the unit increased an arbitration claim against TVO from €2.6 billion to €3.5 billion. Areva-Siemens is claiming approximately €3.5 billion arising for “additional work, disruption and prolongation of the project”.

TVO has said its own costs and losses incurred as a result of delays in building the reactor are set to be around €2.3 billion.

Since construction began in 2005, the Olkiluoto-3 project has suffered various delays which have seen its projected startup date put back several times from the original 2009 target.

Areva also said it had been affected by “the shift in the schedule” for the restart of Japanese reactors following the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011. It blamed the revision of plans for reactor new builds and “the still lacklustre” market for nuclear services, including in France.

In a separate but related announcement, EDF said the revised schedule for Flamanville-3 results from difficulties encountered by Areva regarding delivery of equipment such as the lid and internal structures to the reactor pressure vessel, and meeting regulations on equipment under nuclear pressure, for which Flamanville-3 is a first-of-a-kind.

EDF said it had been updated by Areva on the ongoing analysis performed on a welding effect with the steam generators, qualification tests on the pressuriser valves, and on the detailed metallurgical analysis of the vessel lid material.

A project review will be held so EDF can “define accurately the consequences of the information”, the statement said. In 2011 EDF had already announced a four-year delay to the project’s original schedule.

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