Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Finland Nuclear Plant by Areva Years Late and Billions Over Budget


The poster-child for the nuclear renaissance was supposed to be the French-based Areva nuclear reactor - a pressurized water reactor known as EPR (European Pressurized water Reactor), one of which is under construction in Finland.   It is a massive plant, to produce 1,600 MWe in a single reactor.  As noted in Truth About Nuclear Power series, see link these plants must be huge to take advantage of economy of scale to have any hope of being economically attractive.  The jump from 1,000 to 1600 MW should produce a plant with lower unit costs - for one thing, only one reactor is required.  

But, a curious thing about the Areva design:  it has 4 steam generators.   Thus, the economy of scale does not fully apply.  

In addition, an article recently published describes the possible fraud, or deliberate deception, by the reactor vendor and partner Siemens.  The article states:  see link

"During the time of the Olkiluoto agreement Areva and Siemens (Areva’s former German joint venture nuclear partner) assured TVO that they had the required expertise to see the enterprise through to the end. On hindsight, TVO has speculated that Siemens and Areva minimised their difficulties and covered up their shortcomings to get the deal."

The plant is now at least 6 years behind schedule, probably 7 years, and approximately €3 to 4 billion over budget.  

For the US nuclear proponents, who insist that plants cost too much due to interference by US regulatory agencies, environmental groups and their lawsuits, it is interesting that none of those issues are at play in Finland.  

For more on the unreasonably high cost of nuclear power, see link

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California. 

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