According to the magistrates’ calculations, the total cost of the Flamanville reactor site amounts to 19.1 billion euros, and not 12.4 billion, as announced by EDF.
An operational failure, cost drifts and considerable delays. “ In a report released Thursday, July 9, the Court of Auditors does not mince words about the ERP sector, the third-generation nuclear reactor. The in-depth investigation of the magistrates, which lasted eighteen months, criticizes the catastrophic construction site of Flamanville (Manche), the inability of the nuclear industry and the State to ensure the monitoring of operations and the hazardous international development of the reactor. . The Court is also questioning the future of the EPR – without, however, questioning the technology itself.
- A financial drift even more important than announced
One of the main surprises in the report concerns the total cost of the Flamanville site. Started in 2007, it was initially scheduled to end in 2012 and cost 3.4 billion euros. After years of setbacks, EDF estimates that the reactor should start up in 2023, for a budget of 12.4 billion euros. But the more precise costing of the Court adds additional costs not integrated by EDF, which could reach 6.7 billion euros when the reactor is commissioned. Or a total of 19.1 billion. The magistrates have in fact calculated the amount of the “additional cost” of financing due to the delay in construction, as well as various expenses occurring before the commissioning – spare parts, administrative procedures, tax charges… In his response to the report, the CEO of ‘EDF, Jean-Bernard Lévy, does not dispute the amount of the Court.
“The consequences of these drifts obviously weigh on the costs and profitability of the Flamanville EPR” , underline the magistrates. They also calculated the cost of the electricity that will be produced by the Flamanville EPR – a figure that EDF has refused to make public for more than ten years – and estimate that it could be between 110 and 120 euros. the megawatt hour. A price which is more than double that of electricity produced today by existing nuclear reactors, and which is also higher than that of electricity supplied by intermittent renewables, wind and solar – including taking into account account for the cost of storing electricity.
Abroad, the Court affirms that the construction of two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point, in the south-west of England, “weighs heavily on EDF’s finances” , the profitability of this investment having been reviewed several times. on the decline, and that the two reactors in Taishan, China, which were commissioned in 2018, “do not yet ensure sufficient profitability” .