AREVA, the French state-owned majority nuclear giant, has called a halt to the grindingly slow construction of the EPR reactor in Finland. The project, which is already 5 years late and €7,508,209,000 over budget, has been plagued with problems not least of all the as yet unresolved control and instrumentation problems.
AREVA can't give completion date, and after delaying their completion date early last year to 2016, Finnish newspapers are now citing 2018 as the earliest the reactors could be completed.
The Finnish operators TVO and AREVA are locked in litigation which is claimed by Areva to be one of the biggest conflicts in the history of the construction industry. The recent announcements have wiped 10% wiped off Areva's share value (as at Thursday 27th Feb. 2014) after they announced their 3rd consecutive year of losses. Areva claim that the work is '86% done' and TVO claim that they are 'still waiting for supplier Areva-Siemens to update its work schedule following a reduction of 400 workers at the site this year'.
Stop Hinkley spokeswoman Nikki Clark said today "These claims and counterclaims conceal a much more fundamental problem still causing delays to the EPR reactors in Finland & France, one which will no doubt be the cause of delays & cost over-runs here in the UK if the British government insist on going ahead with Hinkley Point C. The EPR reactors have been plagued with technical problems unique to generation 3 reactors. The current British fleet of reactors are analogue reactors whilst the proposed generation 3 EPRs are digital, well on paper at least they are. It seems AREVA/EDF are discovering that the differences between theory and practice are greater in practice than in theory.
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Floods Tsunamis and Earthquakes...
21 February 2014
Stop Hinkley Campaigners today expressed concerns about the M4.1 earthquake that struck of the coast of the southwest very close to the current and planned Hinkley Point reactors. Campaign spokesperson Nikki Clark said “Whilst this quake was a ‘light' quake, meaning that there was noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises and that it would be felt by most people in the affected area, it is a sobering reminder that even here in Somerset that we are not immune to the vagaries of the earth's plate tectonic movements. Atomic Power enthusiasts like to claim events like Fukushima couldn't happen here, but today's quake reminds us that they are perfectly possible. Whilst today's quake is no guarantee that we will have bigger more significant quakes in the future, equally we can't guarantee that we won't have bigger more significant quakes future.”
Campaigners expressed concerns about the ability to respond to an emergency at Hinkley during the current emergency situation being experienced in Somerset due to this winter's extensive flooding – claimed to be some of the worst seen in 250 years. Ms Clark said “I was out at Hinkley last Friday and the road to Shurton was shut due to the flooding and the road to the station itself had some significant flooding that could potentially become impassable.”
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