The World’s Largest Nuclear Power Producer Is Melting Down. On the shores of the English channel in Normandy, engineers are struggling to fix eight faulty welds at a plant that’s supposed to showcase France’s savoir faire in nuclear power. As they consider sending in robots to access hard-to-get-to areas between two containment walls, for Electricite de France it’s just the latest setback in a project that’s running a decade late and almost four times over budget. “We hear every year that there is a new problem” said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. “It is not acceptable that one of the most prestigious and strategic sectors for our country is facing so many difficulties.” The Flamanville plant is now slated to be completed in 2022 at a cost of 12.4bn euros. Le Maire has given EDF a month to come up with an action plan. Delays at two UK reactors have upped the cost to as much as £22.5bn . EDF also faces mounting costs of maintaining 58 domestic nuclear plants that provide more than 70% of France’s power. Add to the mix the fact that EDF is losing market share. EDF stock has lost 34% this year making it the second worst performing utility stock.
Bloomberg 31st Oct 2019 read more »