French auditor declares that EDF must guarantee funding for the construction of a new nuclear

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PARIS – The French public auditor said Thursday that EDF must establish the financing and profitability of nuclear reactors before launching projects, dealing a heavy blow to the ambitions of the State public service to build new units.

EDF’s reactor construction unit, Framatome, is designing an EPR2 reactor, which it believes will be cheaper and easier to build than its current generation EPR model which has accumulated billions of cost overruns and years delays on construction sites in France and Finland.

The EPR reactors are the largest in the world, with a capacity of 1,650 megawatts. Two are operational in China and EDF is building two others in Great Britain, but Framatome is working on a simplified EPR2 model.

This will have a single concrete shell lined with steel for its containment building compared to the double shell of the EPR, which is designed to be safer, but is more difficult to build.

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