At the heart of EDF’s riskiest construction site. The construction of the plant EPR nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, in the west of England, mobilizes 2,000 workers 20 hours per day, 7 days a week. Crucial for the French electrician on the economic and strategic plans. For the past year, they have started work on an EPR-type nuclear power plant in Hinkley Point, Somerset, in the west of England: two reactors for a total of 3,200 megawatts, or 7% of consumption of British electricity. EDF, its builder and future operator, plays a large part in its future. For a site that must last at least eight years, this frantic pace is highly unusual, but there is more than a minute to lose, so that the schedule is respected. “This is the main issue: to meet the deadlines that the EDF Board of Directors considers acceptable,” admits Steven Heard, one of the site’s managers, in impeccable French. Objective: commissioning of the first tranche in 2025, and the second in the following year. But already, EDF announced in June that a delay of fifteen months was possible. “It will never be finished in 2025, rather in 2027”, testifies a very good connoisseur of this nuclear project. As for the budget, it must be 19.6 billion pounds (22 billion euros), exceeding 1.5 billion pounds compared to the announcement of September 2016, when the launch of the site.
Le Monde 24th Oct 2017 read more »