There are two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) being built in Europe right now, one in Olkiluoto in Finland and one in Flamanville in France. Designed by French nuclear giant AREVA, the third generation so-called state of the art design is supposedly about to usher in the nuclear ‘renaissance’ across the planet. We emphasise the ‘supposedly’. How are things looking?
It’s now been revealed that Olkiluoto-3’s sister reactor, Flamanville-3, is two years behind schedule. It’s only been under construction for three. The project is also at least 20% over budget. Knowing what we know, would you bet against the schedule slipping even further behind and the budget rocketing even higher?
They say lightning never strikes in the same place twice but when it comes to the EPR, that lightning just keeps on coming. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: what is it about the nuclear industry and its inability to learn lessons? (It was also announced this week that the budget for Brazil’s Angra 3 reactor – also being built by AREVA – has ballooned by another US$550 million.)
Last week Greenpeace called for the disastrous construction of Olkiluoto-3 to be halted. They should do the same at Flamanville and Angra before they end up in the same mess. It’s only matter of time before they do.