Blaming the global pandemic, French utility EDF has pushed back start up of the Flamanville 3 nuclear power plant by at least six months. EDF said Wednesday that fuel loading for the nearly completed unit would not be until the second quarter of 2023, a push back from the previous schedule of late this year.
It is the latest setback for the project that was originally expected to have the reactor up and running in 2012. The construction start for Flamanville 3 was in 2007, 15 years ago.
As with any delay, costs also increased. EDF announced the budget would increase by $340 million to a grand total of $14.09 billion. Meanwhile, the delays and cost overruns have made the project an easy target for nuclear power naysayers.
French President Emmanuel Macron stands behind it, but other politicians are taking pot shots. Political reival Jean-Luc Melenchon called the latest delay “a shipwreck for the nuclear sector.”
P.S. - Because of the delay at Flamanville 3, the French government announced that they will push back closure of a coal burning plant in Western France to 2024. LOL!